The competition between flocculating and nonflocculating microorganisms was investigated in a continuous reactor‐settler system (e.g. activated sludge). Co existence states were found to be possible, over a certain domain of operating conditions, even with simple monotonic kinetics and simple competition. Multiple solutions exist when coexistence states are unstable. Coexistence solutions are stable when the flocculating bacteria grow faster at feed conditions as in the activated sludge problem. The analysis applies to one or several mixed or plug flow reactors. Other effects, such as enrichment of the recycle stream by the flocculating microorganism or substrate adsorption and storage, may change the structure of solution.