Protozoa reduction through secondary wastewater treatment in two water reclamation facilities.Sci Total Environ. 2022 Feb 10; 807(Pt 3):151053.ST
The State of Nevada, USA Administrative Code requires a 12-log enteric virus reduction/inactivation, 10-log Giardia cyst reduction, and 10-log Cryptosporidium oocyst reduction for Category A+ reclaimed water suitable for indirect potable reuse (IPR) based on raw wastewater to potable reuse water. Accurately demonstrating log10 reduction values (LRVs) through secondary biological treatment prior to an advanced water treatment train enables redundancy and resiliency for IPR projects while maintaining a high level of public confidence. LRVs for Cryptosporidium and Giardia resulting from secondary biological treatment are not fully established due to a wide range of performance variabilities resulting from different types of secondary biological treatment processes employed in water reclamation. A one-year investigation of two full-scale northern Nevada (e.g. ≤4 mgd; 1.5 × 107 L/day) water reclamation facilities (WRFs) was conducted to monitor Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts in untreated wastewater and secondary effluent. This study aimed at establishing secondary treatment LRVs, monitor WRF performance and attempted to correlate performance to protozoan reduction. California's IPR regulations, in which Nevada IPR regulations were modeled after, were based on a maximum concentration of 5-logs (cysts/L) of Giardia and 4-logs (oocysts/L) of Cryptosporidium. The recovery-corrected Giardia and Cryptosporidium concentrations measured in untreated influent (20 samples each at each WRF) were below 5-log cysts/L at the 99th percentile (maximum 4.4-log cysts/L) and 4-log oocysts/L (maximum 2.7 log oocysts/L), respectively. Both secondary treatment WRFs produced secondary effluent that is consistently better than federal and the State of Nevada requirements and perform within an operating envelop for other secondary facilities. Given the results, it appears that a minimum conservative estimate for LRVs for well-operated secondary activated sludge treatment plants (at the 5th percentile) of 0.5 LRV credit for Cryptosporidium and 2.0 LRV for Giardia is warranted. These minimum LRVs are consistent with a conservative review of the available literature.