The protists notably ciliates and testate amoebas in the conditions of modernized wastewater treatment plants “Hajdow” (Lublin, Poland) and the nitrogen removal efficiency were studied. Sampling took place every week during the period of August-September 2010. The total of 31 taxa of ciliates and 3 taxa of testate amoebas were identified. Most of the species were registered during the whole research period. Significant abundance reached the following species: Acineria uncinata, Aspidisca cicada, Aspidisca lynceus, Vorticella aquadulcis, Vorticella infusionum, Arcella vulgaris, Euglypha acanthophora and Pyxidicula operculata. In September increase in efficiency of nitrogen removal process was registered. The research shows that the increase of nitrogen reduction efficiency was accompanied by increase of ciliates quantity, mainly due to peritrichid ciliates.
The adaptation of activated sludge from the Hajdow sewage treatment plant in a laboratory SBR was studied. The structure of the ciliate assembly was considered as a criterion. 32 ciliate species were found during the experiment. The composition and changes in the ciliate community structure during the process of activated sludge adaptation was examined. In the process of adaptation, reduction was observed in the number of ciliate species together with an increase in assembly total abundance. The decrease in the Shannon diversity index and equitability index in the adaptation process was observed. In the process of adaptation, two states of ciliate assembly were marked out - unstable transient period and stable period. During the transient period, reduction of ammonium utilization efficiency down to 50% and its subsequent increase up to 80% in the stable period were observed. In the transient period, the Simpson dominance index remained low but increased in the stable period. At a temperature of 10°C, the transient period lasted from six to nine days. After the stabilization process, the diversity of the ciliate assemblage remained at a lower level. Rarefaction methods showed that the number of potential ecological niches of ciliate amounted to 30 in the adaptation period, whereas there were only 15-20 ecological niches in adapted sludge.
Several experiments were performed in the laboratory condition using an SBR bioreactor modelling the expected conditions, created by malfunction of certain bioreactor elements, thus the different oxygen condition. In the course of the experiments, the concentrations of ammonia nitrogen, nitrates(III), nitrates(V), TOC, and TC were systematically measured. Besides physico-chemical parameters, the structure of activated sludge community was analyzed. In the samples, the number and species composition of protozoa (ciliates) were determined. Each of the three measuring series conducted for various types of process conditions was repeated three times. The activated sludge used for inoculation of the bioreactor was sampled at Hajdow WWTP in Lublin. The results obtained are the average of three repetitions of every experimental series. On this ground, we may conclude that the number of ciliates shows a high correlation with the O2 concentration, pH and TOC.