Reliable techniques for determination of active biomass are fundamental in both wastewater treatment and ground water contaminant predicting and modelling. Different approaches to determine the biomass were tested in wastewater and ground water. To evaluate the reliability of the obtained results they were compared to corresponding microbial activity parameters. The wastewater studies involved growth cultures prepared by inoculatiny a synthetic medium with wastewater bacteria. In the maximum growth phase of these growth cultures a high correlation was found between ATP, OD, O2 consumption and FDA hydrolysis. The latter, however, overestimated the biomass seriously when applied to untreated wastewater samples. In ground water AODC, ATP, diluted and undiluted plate counts were compared to Vmax values for acetate, glucose and naphthalene. Plate counts and especially ATP content showed fairly good correlation with microbial activity. Thus in conclusion ATP is considered to be superior to the other biomass parameters tested as a general applicable biomass parameter in wastewater and ground water.

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