Skip to main content

The History and Future Directions of Biosolids Disinfection

Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial


This paper reviews the history of disinfection practices, emphasizing their application to human fecal material and the residuals from wastewater treatment. It discusses development of the current US sewage sludge disinfection regulations and their associated practices; discusses the limitations of the practices; discusses the criteria employed in evaluating a new (innovative or alternative) disinfection process and both notes some processes recently evaluated and ones that are currently being evaluated. The US regulations are designed to protect human health by minimizing the contact of humans with pathogenic microorganisms. Two types of disinfection processes are employed. Processes like pasteurization are employed to reduce pathogens below their analytical detection limits, while processes like mesophilic anaerobic digestion are combined with requirements for organic matter reduction and access restrictions. Issues with the present disinfection alternatives such as their only being concerned with the presence or absence of certain pathogens like enteric viruses or Ascaris sp. are discussed and remedies suggested. Innovative and alternative methods for disinfection are frequently proposed and it is important to understand how the stressors employed by the process contribute to its reduction of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, protozoa and parasites. For example with an alkaline disinfection process it may be possible to utilize the beneficial effects of time, temperature, pH, chemical agents like ammonia, and pressure. A two phase and batch thermophilic anaerobic digestion system, however, is able to utilize the benefits of high temperature, high levels of volatile fatty acids and free ammonia to accomplish a large reduction of pathogens.

Keywords: Biosolids; Disinfection; Sludge

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect 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