The interactions between filamentous sulfur bacteria (FSB), sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and poly-P accumulating bacteria (PAB) in the activated sludge of a municipal plant operated under anaerobic-oxic conditions were examined in batch experiments using return sludge (RAS) and settled sewage. Phosphate release and sulfate reduction occurred simultaneously under anaerobic conditions. SRB were more sensitive to temperature changes than PAB. SRB played an important role in the decomposition of propionate to acetate. When the sulfate reduction rates were high, there was a tendency for the maximum release of phosphate also to be high. This was explained by the fact that PAB utilized the acetate produced by SRB. Sulfur oxidizing bacteria were sensitive to temperature change. When the sulfate reduction rate was high, the sulfide oxidizing rate was also high and filamentous bulking occurred. The results showed that sulfate reduction was a cause of filamentous bulking due to Type 021N that could utilize reduced sulfur.

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