This paper presents the microbial risks associated with the reuse of Ecosan sludge in agriculture. Sludge from KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa with a helminth ova content of 30 HO/g TS, faecal coliforms of 106 CFU/g TS, faecal streptococci of 106 CFU/g TS and Salmonella spp. of 105 CFU/g TS was used for this purpose. Applying different rates of sludge to spinach and carrots resulted in an increase in bacterial and helminth ova counts in crops as the quantity of sludge increased. The helminth ova content in crops was always greater in leaves than in stems, with a content varying from 2 to 15 HO/g TS for spinach with sludge application rates of 0–37.5 ton/ha and from 2–8 HO/g TS for carrot crops with sludge application rates varying from 0–35 ton/ha. Nevertheless, viability in crops was 20–25%, reducing the risk of disease. Consequently, the development of an Ecosan sludge revalorisation standard is considered important. Some recommendations are made taking into account the characteristics of the sludge as well as conditions in rural areas.
Using Ecosan sludge for crop production
B. Jimenez, A. Austin, E. Cloete, C. Phasha; Using Ecosan sludge for crop production. Water Sci Technol 1 September 2006; 54 (5): 169–177. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2006.560
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