An attached fungal growth has appeared in a fixed biofilm process at the waste water treatment plant of the City of Oulu, Finland. Due to the filamentous morphology of the fungi, biofilm support material is easily washed out. The appearance is believed to be the result of the unbalanced availability of nutrients, where phosphorus has been identified as the key component. Experimental work concentrated on the influence of phosphorus on the fungal growth. Bench scale experiments showed that a higher uptake of phosphorus for the removal of organic material is possible, which also resulted in a suppression of the fungal growth by bacterial biomass. The results were confirmed by experimentation in a full-scale biofilter. Addition of extra phosphoric acid to the biofilter influent resulted in a biofilm where the fungal growth is less pronounced. The fungal growth is believed to be competitive with the desired bacterial growth. It is possible to keep the fungal growth within limits by changing the conditions in favour of the bacterial growth, thus avoiding the operational problems connected with the filamentous fungi.

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