Microscopic examination of activated sludge is a valuable diagnostic tool for successful wastewater treatment. Identifying filamentous bacteria and determining their relative concentrations are vital in determining the cause for system upsets, such as activated sludge bulking or foaming.
Filamentous bacterial identifications are performed using phase contrast microscopy at low and high magnification. In some cases, Gram and Neisser stains are used to assist with identification. The analysis report includes filamentous bacterial identification with estimated concentrations, protozoan characterization, and photomicrographs. Other microscopic examinations performed at GAP include algae identification and enumeration, microscopic particulate analysis (MPA), iron bacteria, and zebra mussel veliger larvae.