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Reduction of Enteric Microorganisms at the Upper Occoquan Sewage Authority Water Reclamation Plant

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The Upper Occoquan Sewage Authority (UOSA) Water Reclamation Plant, Centreville, Virginia, is a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant that was created to treat area wastewater and provide protection for the Occoquan Reservoir. This study investigated UOSA's unit processes as barriers to pathogenic as well as alternative and traditional indicator microorganisms. Samples were collected once a month for 1 year from eight sites within UOSA's advanced wastewater reclamation plant. The eight sites were monitored for indicator bacteria total and fecal coliforms, enterococci, Clostridium, coliphage (the virus that infects Escherichia coli), human enteroviruses, and enteric protozoa.

Overall, the plant was able to achieve a 5- to 7-log10 reduction of bacteria, 5-log10 reduction of enteroviruses, 4-log10 reduction for Clostridium, and 4.6-log10 reduction of protozoa. Total coliforms, enterococci, Clostridium, coliphage, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia were all detected in four or fewer samples of the final effluent. No enteroviruses or fecal coliforms were detected in the final effluent. The microbiological quality of reclaimed water and the reservoir water were compared. In every case, the treated wastewater was of a better quality than the ambient water in the reservoir, thus indicating that the reclaimed water will not adversely affect the water quality for downstream users.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-11-01

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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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