Fate of Pathogens in Composting Process

  • Masahiro OtakiEmail author
  • Shinobu Kazama


Composting toilet has a characteristic that it has possibility to stock pathogens for a while when the patient uses it. Then health hazard aspects must be considered in the case of composting toilet more than water flush type. In this chapter, the typical and important pathogenic microbes relating to composting toilet are introduced. And the fate of model microbes which indicates pathogenic microbes in composting toilet was shown here. The decreasing rate of them depends upon the operating condition. We have to consider what appropriate conditions for enhancing reduction of pathogens are, and the quantitative microorganism risk assessment (QMRA) method is explained here to consider the acceptable risk when we handled the material such as sawdust. Based on QMRA consideration, the required reduction level is revealed, and the appropriate indicator microbes are suggested for monitoring high-tolerant pathogens in compost. In addition, the methods to estimate the inactivation mechanisms of microbes in compost are suggested in this chapter.


Appropriate indicator microbes Pathogens QMRA 


  1. Burge WD, Colacicco D, Cramer WN (1981) Criteria for achieving pathogen destruction during composting. J Water Pollut Con F 53(12):1683–1690Google Scholar
  2. Craig DL, Fallowfield HJ, Cromar NJ (2002) Comparison of decay rates of fecal indicator organisms in recreational coastal water and sediment. Water Supply 2(3):131–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Haas CN, Rose JB, Gerba CP (1999) Quantitative microbial risk assessment. Wiley, USAGoogle Scholar
  4. Hung RT (1993) The practical handbook of compost engineering. CRC Press, United StatesGoogle Scholar
  5. Kazama S (2010) The inactivation mechanisms of bacteria and viruses in excrement treatment using sawdust. Ph.D thesis, Ochanomizu University (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  6. Kazama S, Otaki M (2010) Fate of indicator bacteria for pathogenic viruses in composting toilet. J Jpn Soc Civil Eng Ser G 66(4):179–186. (in Japanese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kazama S, Otaki M (2011) Mechanisms of bacteria and viruses inactivation in sawdust used in composting toilet. J Water Environ Technol 9(1):53–66. Scholar
  8. Kazama S, Otaki M (2012) Inactivation mechanisms of E. coli in the sawdust used in composting toilet. J Water Environ Technol 10(4):363–374. Scholar
  9. Kazama S, Tameike N, Nakagawa N, Otaki M (2011) A fate model of pathogenic viruses in a composting toilet based on coliphage inactivation. J Environ Sci 23(7):1194–1198. Scholar
  10. Nakagawa N, Yamagoshi K, Oe H, Otaki M (2003) Microbial risk assessment of the composting toilet. J Environ Syst Eng 748/VII-29:91–98 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  11. Nakagawa N, Oe H, Otaki M, Ishizaki K (2006) Application of microbial risk assessment on a residentially-operated bio-toilet. J Water Health 4(4):479–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Otaki M, Nakagawa N, Akaishi F, Kubo K (2006) The fate of microorganisms in the composting toilet from the view point of hygienic risk. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international dry toilet conference. Tampere, Finland, vol 68, pp 16–19Google Scholar
  13. Otaki M, Nakagawa N, Kazama S, Akaishi F, Tameike S (2007) Hygienic risk assessment and control in using composting toilet. In: Proceedings of the 5th international symposium on sustainable sanitation, pp 163–170Google Scholar
  14. Prüss-Üstün A, Bos R, Gore F, Bartram J (2008) Safer water, better health. WHO Publishing, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  15. Sobsey M, Battigelli DA, Handzel TR, Schwab KJ (1995) Male-specific coliphages as indicators of viral contamination of drinking water. AWWA Research Foundation, USAGoogle Scholar
  16. WHO and Unicef (2012) Progress on drinking water and sanitation. WHO Publishing, GenevaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Environmental ScienceOchanomizu UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Urban EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations