Wastewater Microbiology


Midwest Contract Operations has professionally trained staff with extensive knowledge and experience in wastewater microbiology and consulting. The methods of the 3rd Edition Manual on the Causes and Control of Activated Sludge Bulking, Foaming, and Other Solids Separation Problems (Jenkins, 2004) are followed in our lab. We have been recognized nationally through numerous agencies and have a proven track record of success.

Importance of Microbiological Analysis

Microbiological analysis of activated sludge systems, lagoons, filters or any biological treatment process is an invaluable tool used for troubleshooting, problem diagnosis and suggestion of remedial actions for wastewater treatment problems. Most problems identified through microbiological analysis can be remediated by simple operational adjustments, while others may need additional treatment like chlorination to control or eradicate problem filamentous organisms.

MCO will perform microscopic analysis of activated sludge and lagoon systems and provide a detailed report identifying filament(s) and other indicator organisms present. This information is then used to give the suggested causes for the filaments and suggestions for their control.

Microscopic Evaluation Report

  • Evaluation of floc size/strength
  • Dispersed growth abundance
  • Rank of zoogloea bacteria
  • Polysaccharide (reverse India ink stain)
  • Higher life form organism rank and abundance
  • Nitrifying bacteria, polyphosphate accumulating organisms, and other indicator organisms
  • Filamentous bacteria identification/ abundance/ impact on floc structure
  • Recommendations based on evaluation.


The Education Committee of the Illinois Section American Water Works Association (ISAWWA) has selected Ryan Hennessy as the 2015 awardee of the Educating the Drinking water Utility Commendation Award for Training Excellence (E.D.U.C.A.T.E.) Webinar Award.

Committees; Ryan Hennessy representing MCO on WWOA (Wisconsin Wastewater Operators Association) board of directors.

Ryan Hennessy is a Microbiology and Operations Specialist and the Lead Trainer for Wastewater Microbiology for MCO.

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