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Target virus log10 reduction values determined for two reclaimed wastewater irrigation scenarios in Japan based on tolerable annual disease burden

Ito, Toshihiro, Kitajima, Masaaki, Kato, Tsuyoshi, Ishii, Satoshi, Segawa, Takahiro, Okabe, Satoshi, Sano, Daisuke
Water research 2017 v.125 pp. 438-448
Norovirus, biological treatment, data collection, disability-adjusted life year, disinfection, farmers, health promotion, ingestion, models, monitoring, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, risk, statistical analysis, transcription (genetics), vegetables, viruses, washing, wastewater, wastewater irrigation, wastewater treatment, water reuse, Japan
Multiple-barriers are widely employed for managing microbial risks in water reuse, in which different types of wastewater treatment units (biological treatment, disinfection, etc.) and health protection measures (use of personal protective gear, vegetable washing, etc.) are combined to achieve a performance target value of log10 reduction (LR) of viruses. The LR virus target value needs to be calculated based on the data obtained from monitoring the viruses of concern and the water reuse scheme in the context of the countries/regions where water reuse is implemented. In this study, we calculated the virus LR target values under two exposure scenarios for reclaimed wastewater irrigation in Japan, using the concentrations of indigenous viruses in untreated wastewater and a defined tolerable annual disease burden (10−4 or 10−6 disability-adjusted life years per person per year (DALYpppy)). Three genogroups of norovirus (norovirus genogroup I (NoV GI), geogroup II (NoV GII), and genogroup IV (NoV GIV)) in untreated wastewater were quantified as model viruses using reverse transcription-microfluidic quantitative PCR, and only NoV GII was present in quantifiable concentration. The probabilistic distribution of NoV GII concentration in untreated wastewater was then estimated from its concentration dataset, and used to calculate the LR target values of NoV GII for wastewater treatment. When an accidental ingestion of reclaimed wastewater by Japanese farmers was assumed, the NoV GII LR target values corresponding to the tolerable annual disease burden of 10−6 DALYpppy were 3.2, 4.4, and 5.7 at 95, 99, and 99.9%tile, respectively. These percentile values, defined as “reliability,” represent the cumulative probability of NoV GII concentration distribution in untreated wastewater below the corresponding tolerable annual disease burden after wastewater reclamation. An approximate 1-log10 difference of LR target values was observed between 10−4 and 10−6 DALYpppy. The LR target values were influenced mostly by the change in the logarithmic standard deviation (SD) values of NoV GII concentration in untreated wastewater and the reliability values, which highlights the importance of accurately determining the probabilistic distribution of reference virus concentrations in source water for water reuse.