PROBING THE ROLE OF SUNLIGHT WITH RESPECT TO MICROORGANISMS PRESENT IN ACTIVATED SLUDGE SYSTEMANUPAMA A. SHARAN, GHYANDEEP L. GAIKWAD AND S.K. GOYAL
Sunlight is a crucial factor for determining the ideal growth conditions of life forms and in any wastewater treatment plant, a high level of growth of desirable microbial biota is needed. This study was aimed at representing the potential direction in which optimization of temperature in wastewater treatment systems can be done by use of different types of glass coverings in order to facilitate optimum growth of healthy microbial consortia forming the sludge treating wastewater. Lab-scale biological reactors treating wastewater, with different types of glass coverings, were assembled in sunlight conditions and microscopically monitored to investigate the systems potential to sustain extreme temperature conditions without aeration. The growth of algal flocs and other microbial flora in the systems was determined to be interplay of factors including differences in system configurations, evaporation rate and the incident sunlight radiation. The high rate of evaporation and harsh sunlight did not support a healthy algal growth and a sizeable bacterial population over the period of observation. Higher organisms like aspidisca and rotifers were also unobserved in the systems. It was hence inferred that direct exposure to sunlight radiation of intensities as reported during the experimentation period was not conducible to support the healthy sludge/culture growth.
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