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Monte Carlo assessment of microbial risk associated with landfilling of fecal material

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Discarded solid material derived from or soiled with fecal matter is commonly disposed in sanitary landfills. This material includes wastewater solids, pet feces, infectious wastes, and soiled disposable diapers. Such materials may contain indicator organisms, as well as human pathogens, including viruses. The aim of the present work was to analyze the health risk to humans from ingesting untreated groundwater obtained from aquifers subject to contamination from landfills receiving such materials. Uncertainty and variability associated with source composition as well as transport processes were included. It was concluded that, even with conservative assumptions, the health risk to humans from exposure to microbial pathogens of fecal origin deposited in well–designed and operated sanitary landfills is below levels currently considered to be acceptable under U.S. drinking water regulations applicable to treated potable water supplies.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1996-11-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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