can digesters effectively treat WASTEWATER?

In 2012, one in three people worldwide lacked access to any kind of improved sanitation facility. Diarrheal diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, causing over 4 billion episodes of illness each year, killing approximately 2 million people, the majority of whom are children under the age of 5. Micro-scale anaerobic digestion has also been identified as a potential sustainable sanitation solution for densely populated urban slums. Are digesters an effective form of distributed waste management? 

To find out, our team screens inputs (feedstock) and outputs (bioslurry) for common indicator organisms (E. coli and fecal coliform) as well as several enteric pathogens. The results of our study will help us understand how well biogas systems currently treat wastewater. This information will enable us to adjust the digester design to ensure that anaerobic digestion technology is as safe for human health as possible.