To monitor the ability of flocs to settle in Sequencing Batch Reactor sludge, two methods were tested during two operation cycles. Firstly, an automated image analysis procedure has been tested to quantify the floc size and the length and number of filaments. Secondly, rheological measurements (Bingham viscosity and shear stress) have been used to characterise the dispersion of the sludge which can reflect the cohesive strength of aggregates and so the influence of filamentous bacteria on rheological properties. These results were compared with settling parameters such as Sludge Volume Index or settling velocity. Correlations between the measured parameters with image analysis and parameters such as Sludge Volume Index have been obtained. If it is more difficult to analyze rheological results, it seems however that the thixotropy and the Bingham viscosity distinguish poor settlement owing to some filamentous bulking. The first results are promising, although they require confirmation in the long term.

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