Effects of various sewage sludge treatment processes on the survival of potato cyst-nematodes (Globodera spp.) and the implications for disposal

A. M. Spaull*, D. M. McCormack, E. B. Pike

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Samples of sewage sludges, taken over a 12-month period from 9 Scottish sewage works, contained on average 0.24 cysts of Globodera spp. (potato cyst-nematodes) of which 11% were viable. Exposure of cysts in sludge to mesophilic anaerobic digestion, cold anaerobic digestion, pasteurisation and aerobic thermophilic digestion reduced viability of eggs within the cysts by almost 100%. Sludges so treated can therefore be considered to be free from infection risk to potato crops, although the non-infective cysts may still be recovered. Treatment with lime at pH 11.5 by aerobic stabilisation in an oxidation ditch and by activated-sludge treatment did not reduced viability acceptably. Accelerated cold digestion did not reduce viability sufficiently after the usual 15 weeks but rendered eggs completely non-viable after 21 weeks. The results show that even sludge treated to destroy viable cysts should not be applied to land used for growing seed potatoes and subject to testing for freedom from infestation. Additional aspects of the study are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-916
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Technology
Volume21
Issue number8 -9 pt 3
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Dec 1989
EventProceedings of the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association on Water Pollution Research and Control. Part 2 - Brighton, Engl
Duration: 18 Jul 198821 Jul 1988

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