The dominant filamentous bacteria associated with bulking incidents in Japanese activated sludge plants with nutrient removal were identified and their quantitative correlations with sludge settleability were assessed, with the aim of controlling bulking incidents by specifically suppressing bacterial growth. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses using existing oligonucleotide FISH probes indicated that the presence of Eikelboom type 1851 filamentous bacteria belonging to the phylum Chloroflexi is correlated with biomass settleability in the municipal wastewater treatment plants examined. Real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays developed in this study also showed a linear correlation between type 1851 filament members and sludge settleability, with the exception of some winter samples. The real-time qPCR assays and 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicon sequencing to reveal the microbial community of activated sludge showed that the abundance of type 1851 at 200 mL g-1 of sludge volume index was estimated to be about 1.9% of the total microbial cells. The abundance of type 1851 served as a bulking indicator in plants where type 1851 was dominant.