Monitoring and evaluation of removal of pathogens at municipal wastewater treatment plants


The concentrations and removal of Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and microbial indicators, including somatic coliphages and fecal coliforms were investigated through the wastewater treatment processes at three municipal wastewater treatment plants in Beijing, China. The experimental results showed that the concentrations of Cryptosporidium in untreated wastewater, primary treatment effluent, secondary treatment effluent, tertiary treatment effluent were 33–600, 67–333, 0–9 and 0–0.4 oocysts L−1, and that of Giardia were 130–3,600, 533–2,033, 0–32 and 0–2.1 cysts L−1, respectively. The reduction ratios of Cryptosporidium and Giardia by the primary treatment process were 0.12 log and 0.18 log, respectively. Oxidation ditch process had higher reduction efficiency to Cryptosporidium and Giardia than anaerobic-anoxic-oxic process and conventional activated sludge process, probably because of longer retention time and higher sludge concentration. Membrane ultrafiltration had a notably better efficiency to reduce microorganisms, especially Cryptosporidium and Giardia, than conventional flocculation sedimentation and sand filtration process, as the tertiary treatment. Comparing with total coliforms, fecal coliforms and heterotrophic bacteria, concentration of somatic coliphages was correlated better with that of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in untreated wastewater and secondary treatment effluent.

Keywords: Cryptosporidium, fecal coliforms, Giardia, somatic coliphages, wastewater reclamation

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