Of five major secondary sewage treatment works surveyed during 1993 in Hong Kong, two had frequent foaming in the activated sludge plants which resulted in unmanageable operational problems. In this study, branched-filamentous Nocardia amarae was identified as the main causative bacteria in foaming sludges. In vitro studies showed that fatty acids that are commonly found in municipal sewage could be utilized by N. amarae as the sole carbon source, and presence of these fatty acids in sewage could stimulate growth.

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