Klebsiella variicola B16, a microbial bioflocculant (MBF-B16)-producing bacteria, was isolated and identified by its 16S rRNA sequence, biochemical properties, and physiological characteristics. The effects of culture conditions on MBF-B16 production, including carbon source, nitrogen source, C/N ratio, initial pH, and culture temperature, were investigated in this study. Results showed that 6.96 g of MBF-B16 could be extracted from a 1-L culture broth under optimized conditions. Chemical analysis showed that polysaccharide and protein were the main components. The neutral sugar consisted of galactose only, which was proposed in Klebsiella genus for the first time. In addition, a composite flocculant (CF) that contains polyaluminum ferric chloride (PAFC) and MBF-B16 for the removal of turbidity and SS in drinking water was optimized by response surface methodology. CF could reduce PAFC dosage by about 56.2-72%. Charge neutralization and adsorption bridging effect were the primary flocculation mechanisms. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.