Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Gordon Lewandowski

Second Advisor

Basil Baltzis

Third Advisor

Carol A. Venanzi


The microbial characteristics of a mixed population from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners (PVSC) Wastewater Treatment Plant in Newark were examined. This plant handles about 250 million gallons per day of mixed sewerage, with a large industrial component. The microbial species were characterized using standard plating techniques, morphology, microscopic observation, and biochemical tests. These characteristics were determined for the fresh liquor, and after successive batch exposure to phenol (100 ppm) and 2-chlorophenol (20 ppm). Predator/prey, gram positive to gram negative bacteria ratios, and the fungi and protozoan populations were also determined. These results were compared with those previously obtained using a mixed population from the Livingston (N.J.) Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant which handles domestic sewerage. There were very few differences between the populations after phenolic exposure, suggesting that the phenomena observed might be generalized, applying to many municipal treatment plants.