Bacterial regrowth potential in alkaline sludges from open-sun and covered sludge drying beds

Alkan U., Topac F. O., Birden B., Baskaya H. S.

ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY, vol.28, no.10, pp.1111-1118, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09593332808618872
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1111-1118
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study was to compare the regrowth potentials of wastewater sludges dried in two pilot-scale drying processes namely, Open-Sun Sludge Drying Bed (OSDB) and Covered Sludge Drying Bed (CSDB). Quicklime and/or coal fly ash were added to raw sludge samples prior to drying processes in order to enhance bacterial inactivation. Following three drying cycles (March-April, June-July and August-October), sludge samples were taken from the beds for the regrowth experiments. Addition of alkaline materials prevented the regrowth of faccal coliforms in all rewetted samples except for the samples obtained after the rainfall events in OSDB. Rewetting of these samples in the regrowth experiments increased faccal coliform numbers by 3.5-7 log units. In contradiction, the observed bacterial numbers in rewetted alkaline samples from CSDB were below the EPA Class B criterion (2 million MPN g(center dot 1) dry sludge). The combination of additional heat from solar collectors, protection from the rain and the unfavourable living conditions owing to alkaline materials appeared to inactivate bacteria more effectively in CSDB and hence eliminated regrowth potential more efficiently.