Aerated lagoons are a main unit operation for wastewater treatment in the paper industry. Many such operations involve inoculation with bacterial formulations in which in situ effectiveness has not been proven; this can be translated into low efficiency in treatment and unnecessary investments. Lack of knowledge of bacterial biodiversity present in a lagoon limits the capacity to exploit the maximum degradation. To overcome such problems, various methods to identify and study these microorganisms have been developed. In this study, a PCR-DGGE analysis was performed to estimate the bacterial diversity and to verify the presence of bacteria present in a commercial inoculum in two aerated lagoons of a pulp and paper effluent. Phylogenetic affiliation of predominant member’s correspondent to γ- and β-proteobacteria and Firmicutes were found. The dominant bacteria present in lagoon 2 belonged to the following genus Microbacterium sp. Rhodocyclaceae sp., Eubacterium sp. and B. subtilis. In lagoon 1 the dominant genus included Microbacterium sp., Rhodocyclaceae sp. Tepidimonas sp., Acetanaerobacterium sp., and Flavobacteria sp. The two characterized lagoons were not similar to the commercial inoculum. In addition, non-dominant bacteria (less relative intensity) were composed mostly of bacteria of the commercial inoculum.