Microbial effects on phosphorus release were studied for the sediments of Tianjin source water by controlling DO and pH. The results show that: (1) In sterilised water, phosphorus began to release when pH = 9.1 and the stable release rate was 9.51 mg/(d·m2). It indicates that microorganisms may utilise anaerobic iron respiration to release Fe-P. (2) With unsterilised water, phosphorus release rate is 2.14 mg/(d·m2) when pH = 6.5, 8.60 mg/(d·m2) when pH is uncontrolled, and gets to 8.51 mg/(d·m2) when pH = 9.1. This indicates that microorganisms can dissolve insoluble phosphates to accelerate the ion exchange of OH and PO43−, which are derived from iron-bound ortho-P and aluminium-bound ortho-P.

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