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Autoheating and pathogen destruction during storage of dewatered biosolids with minimal mixing

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Long-term storage with occasional mixing of biosolids was investigated for its ability to meet Class A, pathogen destruction requirements for unrestricted beneficial use of biosolids on land as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. Field studies were conducted to evaluate the survival of pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella typhimurium, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Campylobacter jejuni), and Ascaris suum eggs in stored, digested, dewatered, and air-dried wastewater biosolids. Screen-enclosed biosolids columns, seeded with the pathogens, were incorporated into elongated, triangular biosolids-storage piles established at five wastewater treatment plants in Utah. Storage piles were either nonmixed, mixed once a month, or mixed twice a month. Biosolids piles at the Central Weber wastewater treatment plant that were mixed once and twice each month were autoheated to 50°C and 57°C, respectively. Pathogenic organisms were reduced to below detection levels in all the piles within a year irrespective of whether the piles were turned or if autoheated temperatures were attained. Storage time was most important in the destruction of A. suum eggs.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1997

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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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