One of the key components of these treatment plants is the use of organisms that break down chemical wastes. In this article, we will explore the various organisms involved in this process and their significant contributions to the treatment of chemical wastes.

  • Aerobic Bacteria Aerobic bacteria are essential in wastewater treatment plants as they are responsible for the degradation of organic compounds. These bacteria require oxygen to survive and are highly efficient in breaking down complex organic molecules present in chemical wastes. Examples of commonly used aerobic bacteria include Pseudomonas, Bacillus, and Nitrosomonas.

Anaerobic Bacteria Anaerobic bacteria thrive in environments devoid of oxygen and play a critical role in the decomposition of organic matter. In wastewater treatment plants, anaerobic bacteria are responsible for the breakdown of certain chemical wastes, such as organic solvents and chlorinated compounds. Methanogens are a type of anaerobic bacteria that produce methane gas during the breakdown process.

  • Fungi are another group of what organisms break down chemical wastes in a treatment plant that aid in the breakdown of chemical wastes in treatment plants. They are particularly effective in decomposing complex organic compounds, including some recalcitrant pollutants. Fungi secrete enzymes that help break down these compounds, converting them into simpler and more manageable forms. Common fungi used in treatment plants include Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Trichoderma.
  • Algae are photosynthetic organisms that have the ability to remove nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater. Excessive amounts of these nutrients can cause water pollution and harmful algal blooms. Algae utilize these nutrients during photosynthesis, thereby reducing their concentration in the water. This process, known as nutrient removal, helps maintain a balanced ecosystem in treatment plants.
  • Protozoa are single-celled organisms that feed on bacteria and other organic particles present in wastewater. They play a vital role in the treatment process by preying on the bacteria that are resistant to decomposition by other organisms. By controlling the bacterial population, protozoa help maintain a balanced microbial community in the treatment plant, which is crucial for efficient waste breakdown.


The successful treatment of chemical wastes in treatment plants relies heavily on the contribution of various organisms. Bacteria, both aerobic and anaerobic, are the primary workhorses, breaking down complex organic compounds and transforming them into simpler forms. Fungi assist in the decomposition of recalcitrant pollutants, while algae contribute to nutrient removal. Protozoa play a critical role in regulating bacterial populations.