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Resistance of Faecal Coliforms and Enterococci Populations in Sludge and Biosolids to Different Hygienisation Treatments

X. Bonjoch and A. R. Blanch
Microbial Ecology
Vol. 57, No. 3 (April 2009), pp. 478-483
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40605766
Page Count: 6
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Resistance of Faecal Coliforms and Enterococci Populations in Sludge and Biosolids to Different Hygienisation Treatments
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Abstract

The composition of the most abundant facultative anaerobic bacteria populations [faecal coliforms (FC) and enterococci (ENT)] in sludge can be modified after different treatments. These involve the disposal or reuse of sludge and include: anaerobic digesters, incineration, composting, pasteurization and lime treatments. In this study, three treatment types (mesophilic anaerobic digestion, composting and pasteurization) were compared in terms of their ability to reduce both bacterial populations. The diversity and any changes in composition of main phenotypic groups for both populations were also analyzed. Mesophilic anaerobic digestion (MAD) was carried out at 35°C for 20 days. Digested sludge was then dehydrated by centrifugation at 2,500 rpm. Composting (COM) was performed at 55°C with windrow phases. Pasteurization was assayed at 60°C for 90 min (P60), at 80°C for 60 min (P80). A 1-1.5 log unit reduction was observed for FC, and 1 log unit reduction was noted for ENT by MAD treatment. In composting, this reduction proved higher for FC than for ENT (6 log and 3-4 log units, respectively). Optimal pasteurization was obtained at 80°C for 60 min, resulting in a 5 log unit reduction for FC and a 2 log unit reduction for ENT. High diversity indices (Di) for both bacterial populations were detected both before and after implementation of the different treatments. Analyses of the population's similarity provided that FC were diverse both before and after COM, P60 and P80 treatments. However, no differences were observed on the composition of ENT populations after the different treatments assayed.

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