The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the biological phenomena involved in the production of hydrogen sulfide in urban wastewater (UWW) systems.

It is found that the UWW itself naturally possesses the biomass needed to consume the sulfates. These heterotrophic sulfate-reducing bacteria populations, though immediately active in strict anaerobic conditions, are present only in very low concentrations in the UWW. A concentration of them was studied within the pressure pipes, in the form of deposits, and this justifies the high concentrations of sulfides measured in certain wastewater networks.

There are two reasons why the ferrous sulfate used as a treatment in any wastewater networks should not cause the production of additional sulfides. Firstly, the sulfate consumption kinetics are always too slow, relative to the residence time of the water in the pipe, for all of the sulfates to be consumed anyway. Secondly, the amount of assimilable carbon, soluble carbon, and carbon from suspended solid (SS) hydrolysis is insufficient.

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