Aquatic plants in a laboratory
Project #1128

Pathogen Risk Indicators for Wastewater and Biosolids

Research Manager
Ms. Lola Olabode
CRC Water Quality and Treatment


The detection and enumeration of all pathogens is not viable task, creating a need to develop new indicators of their presence in waste matrices. Thus, this project set out to develop indicators to determine treatment efficacy rather than to detect the presence of fecal contamination. The team investigated the presence of pathogens and potential indicators in wastewaters from a range of climatic zones in Australia, South Africa, and the UK, noting that use of appropriate indicators to measure treatment performance is a better approach for risk management of pathogens compared with endpoint measurement of an indicator. The two waste matrices targeted were wastewater and biosolids. The research identified particle profiling as the most promising indicator for pathogen presence in wastewater. Published by WERF. 216 pages. Online PDF. (2009)

Originally funded as WERF project 03-HHE-2.