In this study, the effectiveness of anaerobic treatment systems in reducing pathogenic density levels was evaluated under the US EPA municipal sludge rule (40 CFR Part 503 Rule). Wastewater and sludge samples were analyzed for both pathogens and pathogenic indicator organisms from six different existing wastewater treatment systems. The results indicate that Class B sludge requirements under the US 503 Rule are reasonable and can be achievable by the existing treatment systems while Class A sludge requirements under the same rule may not be easily achieved by the existing treatment systems. The effects of volatile solids loading rates on anaerobic digester performance were investigated. Under anaerobic digestion conditions, it appears that the log reductions in fecal coliform and fecal streptococcus appeared to be dependent on VSS loading rates. On the other hand, Salmonella sp. density reductions did not appear to be dependent on VSS loading rates.

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