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Compliance outlook: meeting 40 CFR part 503, class B pathogen reduction criteria with anaerobic digestion

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The current federal sludge regulations for the first time place limitations on the concentration of pathogens or indicator organisms in sludge and sludge products destined for distribution and marketing and land application. However, there is a general lack of data for assessing the impacts of these new limits on the wastewater industry. To understand better the extent of the compliance problem and the factors that may enable publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) using anaerobic digestion to comply with the new criteria, a survey of treatment plants around the U.S. was undertaken. In addition to data on fecal coliform densities in raw and digested sludge, information was collected on the design and operating characteristics of the 54 digestion facilities that participated in the survey. Based on the analysis of survey responses, it appears that the pathogen reduction criteria under the regulations are not unreasonable and should be achievable by most conventional anaerobic digestion facilities.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion; fecal coliforms; pathogens; regulations; sludge stabilization; survey

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1994

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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