IWA Publishing

Ammonia sanitization of blackwater for safe use as fertilizer

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Source-separated blackwater from low-flush toilets contains plant-available nutrients and can be used as a fertilizer. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact on pathogen inactivation when treating blackwater with urea and/or lime. Blackwater was spiked with Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli O157, Enterococcus faecalis, and Ascaris suum eggs, and treated with urea and/or lime in concentrations up to 0.1% w/w. The bottles were kept in a storage facility (manure slurry tank) for 102 days while monitoring the pathogen concentrations. The treatment time needed to meet the requirement for Salmonella and E. coli reduction could be reduced at least six-fold. The enterococci were more persistent, and only the highest treatment doses had a significantly higher inactivation than the controls. The Ascaris egg viability was only reduced by around 50%, so higher urea/lime doses and/or longer treatment times are required to fulfill the treatment requirements of 3 log10 reductions of parasite eggs.

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