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Use of chemometric analyses to assess biological wastewater treatment plants by protozoa and metazoa monitoring

  • A. Luís Amaral
  • Cristiano S. Leal
  • A. Isabel Vaz
  • J. Carvalho Vieira
  • Andreia C. Quinteiro
  • M. Lourdes Costa
  • L. Miguel Castro
Article

Abstract

Protozoa and metazoa biota communities in biological wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) are known to be dependent of both the plant type (oxidation ditch, trickling filter, conventional activated sludge, among others) and the working operational conditions (incoming effluent characteristics, toxics presence, organic load, aeration, hydraulic and sludge retention times, nitrification occurrence, etc.). Thus, for analogous WWTP operating in equivalent operating conditions, similar protozoa and metazoa communities can be found. Indeed, the protozoa and metazoa biota monitoring can be considered a quite useful tool for assessing the functioning of biological WWTP. Furthermore, the use of chemometric techniques in WWTP monitoring is becoming widespread to enlighten interrelationships within the plant, especially when a large collection of data can be obtained. In the current study, the protozoa and metazoa communities of three different types of WWTP, comprising one oxidation ditch, four trickling filters, and three conventional activated sludge plants, were monitored. For that purpose, metazoa, as well as the main protozoa groups (flagellates, free-swimming, crawling and sessile ciliates, and testate amoeba) were determined in terms of contents and relative abundance. The collected data was further processed by chemometric techniques, such as cross-correlation, principal components, multivariate ANOVA, and decision trees analyses, allowing to successfully identify, and characterize, the different studied WWTP, and thus, being able to help monitoring and diagnosing operational problems.

Keywords

Aerobic wastewater treatment plants Operational assessment Microbiota monitoring Principal component analysis Decision trees 

Notes

Funding information

This study was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the scope of the strategic funding of UID/BIO/04469/2013 unit and COMPETE 2020 (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006684) and BioTecNorte operation (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000004) funded by European Regional Development Fund under the scope of Norte2020—Programa Operacional Regional do Norte.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, ISECCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.CEB—Centre of Biological EngineeringUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal
  3. 3.CERNAS—Center of Studies on Natural Resources, Environment and SocietyInstituto Politécnico de Coimbra, ESACCoimbraPortugal
  4. 4.GERST/CIEPQPF—Faculty of Sciences and TechnologyUniversidade de Coimbra—Pólo IICoimbraPortugal

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