Municipal and agricultural wastewater contain a variety of microorganisms and in particular enteric viruses. For the reuse of this treated wastewater it is important to ensure the efficiency of purification treatments and disinfection practices, that have often been insufficient to lower the viral load below the risk level. For this reason, for the routine analysis of recycled waters, the research into pathogenic viruses (e.g. HAV) and classical bacterial parameters (E. coli, enterococci and Salmonella) has to be associated with specific viral indicators such as somatic coliphages, adenovirus and TTV. The results of environmental monitoring, carried out in a wastewater treatment plant, showed the presence of adenovirus DNA in 100% of collected samples and TTV DNA in 95% (19/20) of raw sewage and in 85% (17/20) of the exit samples, while HAV was detected only in 2 samples over 40 (5%). The quantitative analysis has revealed an average reduction of 2 log for adenovirus and 1.58 log for TTV. The bacterial indicators were reduced by 1.74 log and 1.99 log respectively for E. coli and enterococci, while for somatic coliphages an average reduction of 2.2 log was observed. No significant correlation was shown between these parameters, confirming their inadequacy for the virological risk assessment. However the results of adenovirus confirm it as the best indicator to evaluate the efficacy of wastewater depuration plant in eliminating viruses.

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