Office of Research and Development Publications

Exposure Pathways to High-Consequence Pathogens in the Wastewater Collection and Treatment Systems

Citation:

Chattopadhyay, S. AND S. Taft. Exposure Pathways to High-Consequence Pathogens in the Wastewater Collection and Treatment Systems. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-18/221, 2018.

Impact/Purpose:

The recent development of disease outbreaks in the United States and throughout the world has heightened concerns regarding the potential for exposure to emerging pathogens during wastewater collection and treatment. Emerging pathogens could enter wastewater systems from pathogen shedding in human waste, introduction of decontamination wastewater, illicit activity, or surface water runoff following a wide-area biological incident. This report describes a conceptual exposure model based on a review of the literature on fate and transport of pathogens when present in wastewater systems. Key uncertainties were identified in the event of shedding of infectious pathogens and the potential for formation of bioaerosols, spillage, and other releases associated with the toilet flush, wastewater treatment processes, maintenance and/or repair. A screening process has been developed that evaluated emerging pathogens for the presence of two characteristics: (1) the potential to exhibit high-consequence disease transmission characteristics in wastewater systems, and (2) the potential to exhibit viable exposure pathways for human receptors who have contact with wastewater systems. The report provides information to anyone interested in public health that can be used in decision-making to protect health of utility workers, to provide management and oversight of adherence to using personal protective equipment (PPE)/protective measures, implement administrative and environmental controls.

Description:

Report--Provides information and a screening tool to perform an exposure assessment for emerging pathogens in wastewater systems

URLs/Downloads:

EXPOSURE PATHWAYS TO HIGH-CONSEQUENCE PATHOGENS IN THE WASTEWATER COLLECTION AND TREATMENT SYSTEMS   (PDF,69 pp, 1864 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Product Published Date: 08/01/2018
Record Last Revised: 05/02/2019
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 341856

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HOMELAND SECURITY RESEARCH CENTER

THREAT AND CONSEQUENCE ASSESSMENT DIVISION