Municipal wastewater lagoon systems are susceptible to toxic waste poisoning. Toxic loads from residences and businesses are sporadic and difficult to mitigate. When toxicity levels are high in wastewater lagoons, the biological treatment process is inhibited due to loss in biomass. Wastewater Bacteria, a book by Michael Gerardi, explains that toxicity impacts microbial cellular structure and activity (Figure 1).
Many of the organisms in these systems are unable to grow, divide, and metabolize when toxicants are present. Biomass mortality can contribute to poor wastewater treatment and effluent quality.