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Bacteriophage removal efficiency as a validation and operational monitoring tool for virus reduction in wastewater reclamation: Review

Amarasiri, Mohan, Kitajima, Masaaki, Nguyen, Thanh H., Okabe, Satoshi, Sano, Daisuke
Water research 2017 v.121 pp. 258-269
Enterovirus, Norovirus, activated sludge, coliphages, data collection, guidelines, humans, membrane bioreactors, meta-analysis, microfiltration, monitoring, risk management, standard operating procedures, ultrafiltration, vertebrate viruses, wastewater, wetlands
The multiple-barrier concept is widely employed in international and domestic guidelines for wastewater reclamation and reuse for microbiological risk management, in which a wastewater reclamation system is designed to achieve guideline values of the performance target of microbe reduction. Enteric viruses are one of the pathogens for which the target reduction values are stipulated in guidelines, but frequent monitoring to validate human virus removal efficacy is challenging in a daily operation due to the cumbersome procedures for virus quantification in wastewater. Bacteriophages have been the first choice surrogate for this task, because of the well-characterized nature of strains and the presence of established protocols for quantification. Here, we performed a meta-analysis to calculate the average log10 reduction values (LRVs) of somatic coliphages, F-specific phages, MS2 coliphage and T4 phage by membrane bioreactor, activated sludge, constructed wetlands, pond systems, microfiltration and ultrafiltration. The calculated LRVs of bacteriophages were then compared with reported human enteric virus LRVs. MS2 coliphage LRVs in MBR processes were shown to be lower than those of norovirus GII and enterovirus, suggesting it as a possible validation and operational monitoring tool. The other bacteriophages provided higher LRVs compared to human viruses. The data sets on LRVs of human viruses and bacteriophages are scarce except for MBR and conventional activated sludge processes, which highlights the necessity of investigating LRVs of human viruses and bacteriophages in multiple treatment unit processes.