In Mexico 31% of the treatment plants have a flow less than 60 l/s. This study offers a simple and economical alternative through vermicomposting to resolve the management of sewage sludge and water hyacinth for these small treatment plants. This study was developed with laboratory and pilot scale systems. In the laboratory Eisenia foetida survival was quantified. They were fed three doses of sludge and water hyacinth and different percentages of humidity were applied. The production of worm cocoons was quantified as biomass production and the reduction in the TV/STS ratio as an indicator of stability. To install the pilot system the mixture with the highest cocoon production was chosen. In the pilot test the effect of the worm population density on the waste degradation was observed, the experiment was divided into five modules, four with densities from 2.5 to 15 kg/m2 and one module without worms that served as a blank test. Results: the best mixture was 70% sewage sludge and 30% water hyacinth, with 80% humidity and an average production of 298 cocoons/kg of vermicompost. There were no significant differences in the TVS/TS reduction between the different modules with worms, but in the blank test module there was no reduction. The Type A vermicompost obtained, with non-restricted use, 900 fecal coliforms NMP/g, 0.0 helminth ova/g, highly organic (60% M.O.), high concentration of total nitrogen (2.5%), phosphorus (0.96%) and cationic exchange capacity (60.2 meq/100 g), which indicates that soil fertility would increase if used in agriculture.
Vermicomposting of sewage sludge: a new technology for Mexico
L. Cardosa Vigueros, E. Ramírez Camperos; Vermicomposting of sewage sludge: a new technology for Mexico. Water Sci Technol 1 November 2002; 46 (10): 153–158. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2002.0316
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