In Germany the application of procedures such as flocculation and filtration in the preparation of drinking water results in the annual production of an estimated 500,000 t of sediments and sludges. Some of these residues have a potential for being reused, for example in agriculture, forestry, brickworks or waste water treatment. To assess the microbiological quality of residues from waterworks methods for the detection of enterobacteria, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Legionella, poliovirus, Ascaris suis eggs and Cryptosporidium have been evaluated regarding their detection limits and were applied to various residues from German waterworks. Results show that sediments and sludges may contain pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protista. When residues from waterworks are intended to be reused in agriculture or forestry the microbiological quality should therefore be considered.

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