Vermiculture's Effectiveness as an Alternative to Standard USEPA Class A Stabilization Methodologies

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:


A study was performed by the Orange County Environmental Protection Division to test the feasibility of vermicomposting as a viable method for obtaining United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Class A pathogen stabilization in domestic wastewater residuals (biosolids). The study was conducted at the City of Ocoee's Wastewater Treatment Facility in Ocoee, Florida. The City of Ocoee's Class B biosolids were used as the earthworm substrate.

Two rows of biosolids were heavily inoculated with USEPA's four human-pathogen (pathogen) indicators, fecal coliform, Salmonella spp., enteric virus and helminth ova. The row that served as the test was seeded with earthworms, Eisenia foetida. The quantity of E. foetida was calculated at a 1:1.5 earthworm biomass to biosolids ratio (this is for a 24-hour period) and then adjusted for the amount of days in the test period.

The results of testing indicated that all of the pathogen indicators in the test row realized a greater reduction than in the control row within 144 hours. In this time, the test row samples showed a twenty-one fold reduction in fecal coliforms; the control row only had a five-fold reduction. The test row samples showed a twenty-eight fold reduction in Salmonella spp.; the control row had a sixteen-fold reduction. The test row samples showed a fifteen-fold reduction in enteric virus; the control only had a six-fold reduction. The test row samples showed a sixfold reduction in helminth ova; the control row only had a one-fold reduction.

The USEPA required three to four-fold reduction in the indicator organisms was statistically obtained. These results suggest that vermicomposting may be used as an alternative method for stabilization of Class A biosolids eliminating the need for traditional pre-composting.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more