Investigations were performed on biofilm and sediment from the river Emscher, Germany, presently acting as a large wastewater collector. Biofilm laboratory batch experiments were performed under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The aerobic biofilm surface activity in terms of dissolved oxygen (DO) consumption was determined. Under anaerobic conditions the sulfide production was investigated. Laboratory biofilm experiments were compared with full scale studies performed under aerobic and anaerobic conditions to determine the total biofilm and sediment activity at selected reaches of the Emscher. The biofilm and sediment activity determined may be used for modelling of wastewater quality changes in the Emscher.

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