Many industrial effluents, such as textile and tannery wastewater, contain slowly biodegradable, refractory or even toxic compounds at variable concentrations which may interfere with the efficient operation of biological wastewater treatment plants, in particular with the nitrification stage. Agro-industrial effluents may occasionally contain sanitising agents which are by definition biocides. Two different biosensors, based on respirometry (oxygen uptake rate, OUR measurements) and on basic titration respectively, were used to measure degradation rates of industrial wastewater samples by autotrophic bacteria (ammonia oxidizers). Specific sanitisers such as sodium hypochlorite and benzalconium chloride were used to evaluate and compare the nitrifying activity measured by the two different instruments.

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