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Determining Pathogen and Indicator Levels in Class B Municipal Organic Residuals Used for Land Application

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Biosolids are nutrient rich organic residuals that are currently used to amend soils for food production. Treatment requirements to inactivate pathogens for production of Class A biosolids are energy intensive. One less energy intensive alternative is to treat biosolids to Class B standards, but it could result in higher pathogen loads. Quantitative microbial risk assessments models have been developed on land application of Class B biosolids, but contain many uncertainties because of limited data on specific pathogen densities and the use of fecal indicator organisms as accurate surrogates of pathogen loads. To address this gap, a 12-month study of the levels and relationships between Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and human adenovirus (HAdV) with fecal coliform, somatic and F-RNA coliphage levels in Class B biosolids from nine wastewater treatment plants throughout the United States was conducted. Results revealed that fecal coliform, somatic, and F-RNA coliphage densities were consistent throughout the year. More importantly, results revealed that HAdV (=2.5x103 genome copies/dry g) and Giardia (=4.14 x103 cysts/dry g) were in all biosolids samples regardless of treatment processes, location, or season. Cryptosporidium oocysts were also detected (38 % positive; range: 0 -1.9 x 103 oocysts/dry g), albeit sporadically. Positive correlations among three fecal indicator organisms and HAdV, but not protozoa, were also observed. Overall, study reveals the high concentrations of enteric pathogens (e.g., Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and HAdV) are present in biosolids throughout the US. Microbial densities found can further assist management and policy makers establish more accurate risk assessment models associated with land application of Class B biosolids.

This dataset is associated with the following publication: Rhodes , E., L. Boczek , M. Ware , M. McKay, J. Hoelle , M. Schoen, and E. Villegas. Determining pathogen and indicator levels in Class B municipal organic residuals used for land application. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY. American Society of Agronomy, MADISON, WI, USA, 44(1): 265-274, (2015).

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: See this page for license information.

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Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020

Metadata Source

Harvested from EPA ScienceHub

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Publisher U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD)
Data Last Modified 2014-01-29
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 020:00
Schema Version
Harvest Object Id cf918bfe-e430-4310-ab6f-ec327d12313c
Harvest Source Id 04b59eaf-ae53-4066-93db-80f2ed0df446
Harvest Source Title EPA ScienceHub
Program Code 020:000
Publisher Hierarchy U.S. Government > U.S. Environmental Protection Agency > U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD)
Related Documents
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 6875e8e734b3c8bcd3f9a3fe47138d824887e3a8
Source Schema Version 1.1

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