TESTING FOR DISEASE CAUSING ORGANISMS IN SLUDGE/BIOSOLIDS
Common sense vs. EPA Science
EPA assures the public that sludge/biosolids treatment processes create a safe Class A product for direct contact with
food crops and children as long as indicator organism E.coli is non-detectable - that is that there are less than 1,000
colony forming units per gram of sludge/bisolids.
For over 30 years, EPA has known that the sludge/biosolids treatment processes does not destroy all disease causing
organisms. The treatment processes only causes most disease organisms to be hidden for a little while. In effect, the
disease organisms do not continue to reproduce under laboratory conditions. This condition is referred to as Viable,
What does 1,000 colony forming units of E. coli per gram represent to people exposed to Class A sludge/biosolids?
First, it means that there are actually 1,000,000 of the organisms in every kilogram of sludge/biosolids. That does not
indicate how many deadly infectious viable, but non-culturable vegetable cell bacteria or spore forming bacteria or
viruses are in the sludge/biosolids.