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The American Society for Testing and Materials Task Group on Standards Development for Virus-in-Solids (ASTM D19:24:04) has been engaged in the selection of enterovirus recovery methods for sewage sludges and sewage amended soils. Preliminary laboratory screening studies and specific selection criteria were used to identify methods to undergo extensive roundrobin comparative methods testing and subsequent standards selection.
Virus-in-sludge recovery methods were evaluated first. The sonication-extraction and the low-in-pH-aluminum chloride (AlCl3) methods were selected for round-robin testing. Eight laboratories participated in this evaluation by using five typical sludges and their indigenous enterovirus populations. Although the low pH-AlCl3 method provided a somewhat higher ratio of recovery efficiency in individual tests, there was no statistically significant difference between the methods, and their precisions were essentially identical. Therefore, both were recommended as ASTM standard methods.
Virus-in-soil recovery methods are currently being evaluated in round-robin tests by nine laboratories using four typical soil types seeded with enterovirus concentrates from raw sewage. The selection criteria and round-robin test protocols are very similar to those used in the sludge methods evaluation procedure.
enterovirus, sewage sludges, sewage-amended soils, virus recovery/extraction, virus enumeration, virus standard methods, environmental sampling
Manager for field water and sanitation research, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Biomedical Research and Development Laboratory, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD