Thiothrix I


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Filamentous Identification Lab Service. One reason to identify filaments is to determine the filaments characteristics and then determine the type present.  If the type is found out, a root cause can usually be associated with a particular filament.  If the cause is known, then a correction can be made to alleviate problems. Chlorination is only a quick fix.  Without process changes, filaments will grow back after chlorination.

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Training is an integral part of any job. Not everyone is at the same level of training. Many people want beginning concepts and basics. Some need technical information or troubleshooting. Some want equipment, technology or process information.

We have developed a full set of Basic training, Advanced training, Filamentous Identification the Easy Way as well as custom training CD's Manuals. We also provide hands-on training classes and soon will have an Online "E-University".




 Thiothrix I


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Thiothrix I filamentous identification in wastewater

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We hope you like the new look of our Filamentous Bacteria Identification Pages

If you would like more information on filaments, you might want to consider purchasing our Filamentous Identification the Easy Way Training materials.

We also have our lab that can perform a Filamentous identification lab analyses of your own MLSS for more information


Thiothrix I

This filament is very common in low nutrient or septic environments. Don't get overly technical.  When trying to determine species, stick to the basics, and focus on the causes and controls of the filaments present. The main point of any filamentous identification is not to get a PhD, but to fix your plant!



Relatively large, non-motile filaments (100-500 µm).  Straight or smoothly curved filaments with no branching.  Cells are rectangular  (1.4 x 2.5 µm) and a clear cell septa is present without indentations at the septa. Filaments are found radiating outwards from the floc structure causing inter-floc bridging.  The filament staining is Gram negative or Gram variable when sulfur granules are present and Neisser negative with Neisser positive granules observed frequently. Exhibits bright sulfur granules in the presence of sulfides under phase contrast (use the S-test). Poly-ß-hydroxybutric acid  (PHB) is frequently observed as dark intracellular granules.  No attached growth when extending into the bulk solution.  Can form rosettes and the filaments can have gonidia on the tips. Rosettes are when many filaments radiate outward from a common origin.  Prominent heavy sheath.  Easy to identify due to its large size. Sheath can be  Gram or Neisser positive when heavy slime is present due to nutrient deficiency or septicity.


Similar Organisms:

Type 021N  is similar when in the bulk solution and with no attached growth, although Type 021N has no sheath. Type 0041 similar, but square cells and more attached growth.



This filament is usually found in environments where there are limited nutrients (Nor P).  It can also be found in wastes containing specific compounds with sulfides and/or organic acids or environments with low D.O.  Sometimes found in plants with high pH in the aeration system.



RAS chlorination should be definitely used if in the rapid growth phase. After chlorination, sheath may still be present and interfere with SVI.  Increase D.O.  levels if due to septicity and check solids handling. Septic influent wastes can be remediated by pre-aeration or pre-chlorination. Add nutrients or adjusting the pH according to the problem. Nutrient deficient wastes can be checked by effluent values of residual NH3 and o-PO4 and should be supplemented if necessary.


Thiothrix ranks 5th in number of predominance.


For more information on Filamentous Identification

 S. natans

 Type 0675

More photos to come. . .


If you need more information on our Filamentous Identification the Easy Way Training CD or on Internet training on Filamentous bacteria, causes and controls.

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