Worldwide, the most important reuse of wastewater, in volume, is agricultural irrigation. Therefore, there is a need to properly treat wastewater for such purpose, considering the removal of pathogens while leaving suitable amounts of nutrients and other compounds to increase productivity. Helminth ova are one of the main targeted pathogens in the new guidelines for water reuse in agriculture and aquaculture issued in 2006 by the World Health Organization. However, relatively little research has been done recently on how to remove and inactivate helminth ova from wastewater and sludge and recommendations given several decades ago are still used, but when put into practice, particularly in developing countries, produce unsatisfactory results. One problem is that these criteria were developed using inaccurate analytical techniques and the other is the large number and variety of helminth ova species found in wastewater and sludge from the developing world. In fact, the few technological options to remove and inactivate helminth ova come from research performed using wastewater and sludge with low helminth ova content, and refer almost only to Ascaris (one type of helminth). This paper summarises recent research work and results from practical experience concerning helminth ova control for advanced and conventional sanitation.

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