The application of removal coefficients for viruses in different wastewater treatment processes calculated using stochastic modelling

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This study proposes that calculating and interpreting removal coefficients (K20) for bacteriophages in activated sludge (AS) and trickling filter (TF) systems using stochastic modelling may provide important information that may be used to estimate the removal of phages in such systems using simplified models. In order to achieve this, 14 samples of settled wastewater and post-secondary sedimentation wastewater were collected every 2 weeks, over a 6-month period (May to November), from two AS and two TF systems situated in southern England. Initial results have demonstrated that the removal of somatic coliphages in both AS and TF systems is considerably higher than that of F-RNA coliphages, and that AS more effectively removes both phage groups than TF. The results have also demonstrated that K20 values for phages in AS are higher than in TF, which could be justified by the higher removal rates observed in AS and the models assumed for both systems. The research provides a suggested framework for calculating and predicting removal rates of pathogens and indicator organisms in wastewater treatment systems using simplified models in order to support integrated water and sanitation safety planning approaches to human health risk management.

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