Wastewater Risk Assessment

by Neil J. Hutzler, Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, Mich.,
William C. Boyle, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. and Environmental Engrg., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 5, Pg. 919-933

Document Type: Journal Paper


Risk assessment takes place in three broad and overlapping steps: hazard identification, risk estimation, and social evaluation. Human pathogens are of primary concern in wastewater although focus has recently shifted to chemical hazards. The relation of dose-response between hazardous substances and exposed populations can be coupled with predictions of likely dosages resulting from human exposure to polluted water to give estimates of maximal risk. This methodology was used to show that less than 0.1 cases of hepatitis A per 100,000 persons per year can reasonably be attributed to drinking treated surface water or to swimming downstream from an unchlorinated sewage treatment plant discharge.

Subject Headings: Wastewater management | Risk management | Water treatment plants | Social factors | Human factors | Pathogens | Chemical wastes | Hazardous materials

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