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Pathogens and Indicator Organisms in Class B Biosolids Before and after the Part 503 Sludge Rule

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Thirty three samples of Class B biosolids were obtained from wastewater treatment plants from across the nation. Biosolid samples included cake (≃ 20% solids) and liquid biosolids (8% solid). Analyses included: fecal coliforms; E. coli 0157H7; Salmonella; Shigella; Clostridium perfringens; enterovirus; adenovirus; coliphage; and Ascaris. This is the first nationwide study on pathogens in biosolids since the EPA Part 503 Regulations went into effect, and provides a comprehensive database on the occurrence of pathogens in Class B anaerobically digested biosolids. Data show that indicator loads nationwide in Class B biosolids (e.g. fecal coliforms) are similar to concentrations found back in the early 1990s. In contrast, Salmonella and enterovirus concentrations are now significantly lower than in the 1990s. Data from the single wastewater treatment plant in Tucson, Arizona from 1985 to present show similar data trends. Overall, data suggest that the Part 503 Rule has resulted in reduced pathogen loads.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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