Research results that enumerate viral organism in biosolids provide inputs to new tools for assessing health risks and for decision making. A Swedish research team headed by Robin Harder published Including Pathogen Risk in Life Cycle Assessment of Wastewater Management. 1. Estimating the Burden of Disease Associated with Pathogens , followed by Including Pathogen Risk in Life Cycle Assessment of Wastewater Management. Implications for Selecting the Functional Unit. This team conducted an evaluation “based on eight previous QMRA (quantitative microbial risk assessment) studies as well as parameter values taken from the literature. A total pathogen risk (expressed as burden of disease) on the order of 0.279 disability-adjusted life years (DALY) per year of operation was estimated for the model WWTS serving 287,600 persons and for the pathogens and exposure pathways included in this study.”
Yes, a lot of new science and new assessments. This deserves our attention and, what is more, even in the absence of EPA funding, it deserves investment of our money. The pay back might be most keen in providing incentives for companies to evolve treatment technologies and for public agencies to institute best practices. The pay back is also in our pride when we well-serve our ratepayers and communities. And, best of all, it may remind us Don't Be Stupid.