https://doi.org/10.25678/0003SA

Data for: Linking seasonal N2O emissions and nitrification failures to microbial dynamics in a SBR wastewater treatment plant

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a strong greenhouse gas and causal for stratospheric ozone depletion. During biological nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), high N2O fluxes to the atmosphere can occur, typically exhibiting a seasonal emission pattern. Attempts to explain the peak emission phases in winter and spring using physico-chemical process data from WWTP were so far unsuccessful and new approaches are required. The complex and diverse microbial community of activated sludge used in biological treatment systems also exhibit substantial seasonal patterns. However, a potentially causal link between the seasonal patterns of microbial diversity and N2O emissions has not yet been investigated. Here we show that in a full-scale WWTP nitrification failure and N2O peak emissions, bad settleability of the activated sludge and a turbid effluent strongly correlate with a significant reduction in the microbial community diversity and shifts in community composition. During episodes of impaired performance, we observed a significant reduction in abundance for filamentous and nitrite oxidizing bacteria in all affected reactors. In some reactors that did not exhibit nitrification and settling failures, we observed a stable microbial community and no drastic loss of species. Standard engineering approaches to stabilize nitrification, such as increasing the aerobic sludge age and oxygen availability failed to improve the plant performance on this particular WWTP and replacing the activated sludge was the only measure applied by the operators to recover treatment performance in affected reactors. Our results demonstrate that disturbances of the sludge microbiome affect key structural and functional microbial groups, which lead to seasonal N2O emission patterns. To reduce N2O emissions from WWTP, it is therefore crucial to understand the drivers that lead to the microbial population dynamics in the activated sludge.

Dataset extent

Data and Resources

Citation

This Data Package

Gruber, W., Niederdorfer, R., Ringwald, J., Morgenroth, E., Bürgmann, H., & Joss, A. (2021). Data for: Linking seasonal N2O emissions and nitrification failures to microbial dynamics in a SBR wastewater treatment plant (Version 1.0) [Data set]. Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.25678/0003SA

The associated article

Gruber, W., Niederdorfer, R., Ringwald, J., Morgenroth, E., Bürgmann, H., & Joss, A. (2021). Linking seasonal N2O emissions and nitrification failures to microbial dynamics in a SBR wastewater treatment plant. Water Research X, 11, 100098. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wroa.2021.100098

Metadata

Open Data Open Data
Long-term data Long-term data
Author(s)
  • Gruber, Wenzel
  • Niederdorfer, Robert
  • Ringwald, Jörg
  • Morgenroth, Eberhard
  • Bürgmann, Helmut
  • Joss, Adriano
Keywords nitrification,denitrification,activated sludge microbiome,physico-chemical monitoring,greenhouse gas emissions
Variables
  • ammonium-nitrogen
  • dissolved_oygen
  • growth_rate
  • pH
  • temperature
  • total_nitrogen
  • total_solids
  • volumetric_flow_rate
Substances (scientific names)
  • N2O
  • NH4+
  • NO2-
  • NO3-
Substances (generic terms)
  • greenhouse gas emissions
Organisms (generic terms)
  • bacteria
Timerange
  • 2018-02 TO 2018-05
  • 2018-12 TO 2019-06
Geographic Name(s)
  • Uster WWTP
Review Level general
Curator Gruber, Wenzel
Contact Wenzel.Gruber@eawag.ch
DOI 10.25678/0003SA