Dr. Alison Ling of Barr Engineering will be presenting “Microbial Ecology of Activated Sludge System to Inform System Operation and Design” on November 7, 2019 at the Conference for the Environment in Minneapolis. This presentation is based Microbe Detectives’ DNA data of the microbial ecology at a large municipal wastewater treatment plant that was collected weekly for 52 consecutive weeks. The DNA data combined with other tests and operational data were analyzed to inform the client on optimization opportunities.

Microbiological methods typically applied in engineering systems are centuries old. Recent technology advances in DNA methods and other areas enable a more reliable and detailed understanding of microbes and their activities, and the cause-effect relationships, whether beneficial or problematic.