Wastewater Biomass Analyses


Biological Products:



Bioaugmentation products for Wastewater applications in Papermills, Refineries, Chemical, Tanneries, Municipalities, Textiles, Steel, Agriculture, Animal feedlot,  Gun Powder plant, Food and Beverage- Dairy Products, Orange Juice factory, Wineries, Cookie factory, Vegetable processing plant, Meat packing, Barbecue Restaurant, Aquaculture, Ornamental Ponds for algae control, CAFO, Nursing homes, Military, Campgrounds, Universities, Regulatory agencies



Lab Services:



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.

Wastewater Biomass Analyses and Cooling Tower Analyses also available


Training Materials:



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".


Audits and Consulting:


At Environmental Leverage® Inc., we have a team of experienced individuals who come into your plant with a fresh pair of eyes.  The system is checked from influent to effluent.  System optimization, equipment efficiency and operational excellence are key components explored. Key Benefits Equipment efficiency Total Cost of Operation reductions Reliability and safety

An onsite audit is conducted to examine system parameters, process controls, and current monitor and control procedures. A physical walk-through is conducted, process flow diagrams are examined, previous design criteria are examined and current standard operating procedures are evaluated along with data logs.




Wastewater Biomass Analyses

Latest News!

What's New!

We have just added "Virtual Audits" to our capabilities. Check out our new Services.  We are in the process of developing new courses for our ""Online E-University" in order to meet the needs of our global customers that cannot travel to our public classes.Visit our new website www.WastewaterElearning.com/Elearning

What exactly is going on in my system? How do I know what I am looking at?

Aeration basinMicroscopic analyses of any biological system should be a critical component of any ongoing daily monitor and control programs.  Lab sheets to correlate health of the system, any changes in floc structures, higher life forms, filamentous identification, polysaccharide coating of the bacteria and suspended solids can be determined by using a microscope and examining the biomass.  This is a tool that can help not only show exactly what the health of the system is at a given time, but can also help predict which direction the plant is headed if used daily. It is a tool that can also help prevent critical upsets, or be used as an early warning. In the cases of filamentous problems, staining and identification of the filamentous can help with troubleshooting and help avoid costly chemical consumption.


Well, I do not know how to do that myself, what can I do. . You can send in a wastewater sample to our lab for an analysis. Our Lab biomass analysis can troubleshoot from your sample submitted.
Look for information below on sending us a sample.


What would that analysis consist of?

A wastewater biomass analyses would consist of a number of different things.  A brief cover letter explaining the overall health of your system as observed through the sample. Any suggestions for troubleshooting that might be indicated by the observations noted. The report includes an analysis of the floc, the higher life forms and possible filamentous identifications if requested.

naked amoeba

What is a wastewater biomass analysis?  The Wastewater Biomass Analyses consists of two sheets, a Higher Life Form sheet and the Floc Characterization Sheet.


What is the Higher Life Form or “Indicator Organism” Sheetstalked ciliates?

The Higher Life Forms Sheet shows the number and types of higher life forms found in the wastewater sample.  It is usually performed under the microscope at 100x.  An average of 10 fields is used to determine the number and types of life forms. The purpose of recording the number of higher life forms is to determine the health and age of the system. Typically the organisms represent only 5% of the biomass.   These organisms are exactly what they are called-Indicator organisms.  They are usually the last to come and the first to go in a system if it is not running properly.  They usually correlate to the plant performance. They can indicate if the sludge is young, old or medium aged.  They can sometimes indicate if there had been a recent slug of high BOD loading.


parameciumSome things that may be noted on your sheet:
1.             Loss of all higher life forms can indicate a recent high BOD loading or toxic shock.
2.             Many rotifers and nematodes usually indicate an older sludge age unless the system is a fixed film type.
3.             Increase in amoeba and flagellates from normal numbers of higher life forms can indicate a change to a younger sludge (lower MLSS), high F/M ratios or BOD loading.
4.             Suctorians are usually excellent indicators of good sludge.
5.             Many stalked ciliates can be an indication of middle aged sludge. Suctorian
6.             Fungi or yeast can indicate low pH, fermentative conditions or severe phosphorous deficiency.  Sometimes if present with high numbers of Thiothrix, it can indicate septic conditions in previous clarifiers or process units that feed into the aeration section of the wastewater treatment plant.
7.             Tetrads can indicate a nutrient deficiency, usually nitrogen. These cause high levels of TSS and require lots of polymer.
8.             The presence of spirillum or spirochetes usually indicates septicity.  The presence of high organic acids or low DO is usually associated with septicity. Again, check your clarifier for holding solids too long.
amoeba9.             Hyphomicrobium looks like “beans on a stalk”.  They are an indication that denitrification is going on or septicity is present.
10.          The presence of heavy metals can result in dispersed growth of floc structures.  Check to see if Arcella are present.
11.          Zooglea are extremely large, non-motile bacteria. The bacteria staining is usually Gram negative and Neisser negative. No sulfur granules are present.  They can be “fingered or amorphous”.  They have the ability to denitrify. Zooglea have the presence of excessive amounts of polysaccharide coating.  Zooglea grow usually as “amorphous” clumps or “fingered” like a tree. They can indicate low pH.  This bacteria is usually found in environments where there is a high F/M ratio where the soluble organic compounds are readily bio-degradable. Often present in selector systems in activated sludge.  Also an indication of nutrient deficiency (N or P).


The Floc Characterization Sheet

The Floc Characterization Sheet is used to identify outstanding characteristics of the floc structures found in the biomass, including size, morphology, filament abundance, etc.


Floc StructuresFloc Structures and Filaments
Because every wastewater has a different bacterial population as its biomass, every wastewater has a different floc structure.  What is good floc structure in one wastewater may be poor floc structure in another wastewater.   It is difficult to tell good or poor structure by looking at a specimen through the microscope one time.  Generally, the more that is known about a particular wastewater, the more comments can be made about its structure.
Nonetheless, some characteristics can be examined to determine relative floc condition.  Generally, the more firm and compact a floc is, the better it will settle.  The more lacy and dispersed a floc is, the less likely it will be to settle.  The presence or absence of pin or straggler floc, which can be responsible for high suspended solids (TSS) inPolysaccharide coating wastewater, is also an important observation when examining floc structure.  The presence of many filamentous bacteria is also examined to determine if filamentous bulking is responsible for poor settling. 
A microscopic evaluation is carried out by our Bioengineering Laboratory Specialists and is documented by photomicrographs.  Depending on the type of sample, various staining techniques may be utilized to determine biopolymer levels and filament types.  Microscopic examination is critical for filamentous identification, since filamentous organisms typically cannot be grown on agar media plates.


Filamentous Identification


Gram stain filamentous identificationFilaments can be internal or external and they can be free of the floc structures or found intertwined in the floc. Filaments present in the system do not always have to mean a problem.  Some filaments are good if they form a strong backbone and add a rigid network to the floc.  They help give the floc more structure and settle faster.  Filaments are good BOD degraders also.  They are only a problem when they become dominant.  If filament abundance is in the abundant or excessive range, having a Filamentous Identification performed is recommended.

 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 particularClarifier 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.

A Filamentous Worksheet may be included if necessary.  When Gram and Neisser stains are performed for filamentous Identification, the types of filaments found present will be noted on the Floc Characterization sheet to the right of the filament section and will be noted on the Cover Sheet.  A Filament Causes sheet, Filamentous Predominance sheet and corrective actions will be given and included also with the report.  Individual sheets on the actual filaments present in the sample will be included with more information on that particular filament.


Start your way now to a cleaner, brighter effluent with fewer hassles in your waste treatment plant.


n lim filament sheet     













Filamentous bulking vs. Zoogleal bulkingstalked ciliate description

Click this link for: Wastewater Biomass Analyses Information

Sample Case History

More information

Click this link for: Additional Wastewater Training Materials


Ok, you convinced me. How do I go about sending in a sample?

1  We have a Chain of Custody Excel form below to use or your own form.
2  Please Call ahead to 630-906-9791 to ship sample as we have three locations. Add any information you have that pretains to sample ie: BOD, DO, TSS, pH, etc.
Any testing numbers you have.
3  Leave 1-2 inches of head space in sample container for airspace.
4  No Blue Ice in Winter, Use Blue Ice in Summer and Do Not Use Ice Cubes because of melting/leaks.

What will I need to send in?

Send in 100 mls of MLSS in a small, plastic bottle with at least 2-3 inches of headspace/airspace in the bottle so that the bacteria have sufficient oxygen during transit and does not turn septic.   Seal the bottle carefully. Send overnight by UPS, Fed ex- etc. If possible, pack with blue ice to keep refrigerated during warm weather months.


For Trickling filters or RBC’s please collect supernatant with biomass that sloughs off.

For foam or scum samples, collect foam or scum off surface, place in plastic container, again leave air space in container.


Download here Chain of Custody Form-Complete Form & Ship with Biomass Sample

We are now offering GO GREEN to our customers.

We will not send any paper copies of the report in the mail. Just the CD with the full report, photos and videos.

Please let us know if you want to GO GREEN for the environment.


Ship MLSS Sample To:


Contact our office as we have multiple ship to locations for labs depending upon the Day and sample load.



What will the analyses contain:

Standard Wastewater Biomass Analyses.

The Standard Wastewater Biomass Analyses will contain a cover letter with comments, recommendations and troubleshooting tips. Additional training materials may be included if conditions at the plant require it. A Higher life form sheet will be included as well as a floc structure analyses. A CD with photos and videos of your biomass is included. This analyses costs $275.00

Complete Wastewater Biomass Analyses with Filamentous Identification.

This full Standard Analyses plus Filamentous Identification which includes Gram & Neisser stains, suggestions on causes and control, troubleshooting tips as well as and includes everthing in the above standard analyses. This analyses costs $375.00


Cooling Tower Microscopic analyses - New lab service $175.00  


Filament sheetHigher life form sheet     cd

PhotoMicroscopic photograph sheets (above) are included of your sample and a CD with videos and photos taken of your sample is also included along with a document of comments, recommendations and troubleshooting advise.

Call now to set up a Wastewater Biomass Analyses or Filamentous Identification of your plant!   630-906-9791   

Click to Download PDF Biomass Analyses

Wastewater Biomass Analyses



Links to additional Training

Start your way now to a cleaner, brighter effluent with fewer hassles in your waste treatment plant.
Sample Case History
More information- Troubleshooting
Additional training Materials

Filamentous Identificationcds, Plant Operations Seminar, wastewater training, bio, bioblock, operators training


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

 How are your bugs doing?


Contact us today to set up a Filamentous Identification of your MLSS and start saving money at your plant~Email Link: Click This Link to Email Us or Call at 630-906-9791

Click on Links below for direct information:


1 - Wastewater Biomass Analyses with Filamentous Identification Printable version


2 - Set of Stained Filaments-Microscope Slide Set. An excellent tool to train and help identify filaments.

microscope slides


3 - © Filamentous ID the Easy Way™ - Training CD a wealth of training information, educational photographs and troubleshootinig your own WWTP.

Wastewater Training Classes

Wastewater Training CD's


Wastewater Training Options

The greatest equipment and the most efficient, dedicated workers can be ineffective if they are not properly trained. At Environmental Leverage, we have years of experience in many process areas and technical expertise on equipment, systems and operations. Programs to optimize your system or custom training can be tailored to increase the reliability and efficiency of your plant. Look for self taught training materials and training courses below.


Wastewater basics   How to use the microscopeVisual troubleshooting a wastewater lagoonNitrification and denitrification


We have developed a full line of Training CD's and Elearning classes for training and operator CEU's.



Elearning and General Brochure Click for brochure

Online Wastewater Training ELearning -

Since wastewater training is such an integral part of any treatment system, we have been asked to develop an online waste water training program with some of our materials.
It is not always easy to get on a plane or travel attend a wastewater training class. Now you will be able to take waste water training courses at your leisure from your home or office.


Click here and Go straight to our WebSite - www.WastewaterELearning.com

Take a sneak peek inside our training courses with our ELearning Demo Make sure to create an account and log in.


Lab Poster


Lab Poster Higher Life Forms


Environmental Leverage Lab Poster for Wastewater Training. This Microbiology Poster has photos as well as descriptions and troubleshooting recommendations of common micro organisms found in most wastewater treatment plants.


Contact Environmental Leverage for more information about obtaining this poster for your lab or setting up hands on training, consulting and onsite audits.
Email admin@EnvironmentalLeverage.com or Call us at 630-906-9791