African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1126

Full Length Research Paper

Survival of enteric bacteria in source-separated human urine used as fertiliser: Effects of temperature and ammonia

Joseph M. Makaya*
  • Joseph M. Makaya*
  • Research Center for Biological, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Research and Training Unit, Life and Earth Sciences, University of Ouagadougou, 03 BP 7021, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
  • Google Scholar
Marius K. Somda
  • Marius K. Somda
  • National Center for Scientific and Technological Researches, Institute for Health Sciences Research, 03 BP. 7047, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
  • Google Scholar
Aly Savadogo
  • Aly Savadogo
  • Research Center for Biological, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Research and Training Unit, Life and Earth Sciences, University of Ouagadougou, 03 BP 7021, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
  • Google Scholar
Dayeri Dianou
  • Dayeri Dianou
  • National Center for Scientific and Technological Researches, Institute for Health Sciences Research, 03 BP. 7047, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
  • Google Scholar
Alfred S. Traore
  • Alfred S. Traore
  • Research Center for Biological, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Research and Training Unit, Life and Earth Sciences, University of Ouagadougou, 03 BP 7021, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
  • Google Scholar
Nicolas Barro
  • Nicolas Barro
  • Research Center for Biological, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Research and Training Unit, Life and Earth Sciences, University of Ouagadougou, 03 BP 7021, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 25 June 2014
  •  Accepted: 26 August 2014
  •  Published: 30 September 2014

Abstract

To promote the use of eco-toilets is an alternative to the lack of sanitation and high cost of artificial fertilisers in developing countries. Human urine is the fraction of excreta containing most nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which are essential nutrients for plant growth. The major concern related to the use of the urine as fertiliser is the possible presence of enteric pathogens. The reduction in the numbers of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Salmonella sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens spores during urine storage was studied in diluted and undiluted urine samples. These experimental samples were stored in ambient air and at temperatures of 25, 35 and 42°C. The initial concentration of ammoniacal nitrogen reduced from 8260 to 1070 mg/L in quarter-diluted urine (1:3), while the pH values remained stable at 8.6 (± 0.2). E. faecalis survived for 35 days in the quarter-diluted urine at 25°C. Survival times of the tested bacteria were more shortened in ammonia concentrated samples, on storage at 35, 42°C. Except C. perfringens spores, E. faecalis was the least sensitive to storage conditions as compared to S. aureus and the two Gram-negative bacteria tested. Therefore, temperature and ammonia acted synergistically to remove bacteria in the stored urine. Likewise, C. perfringens spores were the most persistent bacteria, with only 1-log10 reduction within 100 days storage at ambient temperature. This study shows that a period of at least 30 days of undiluted urine storage at temperatures ≥ 25°C is sufficient to sanitize urine, considering only vegetative bacteria. Since urine from eco-toilets may contain other enteric organisms (viruses, protozoa, etc) appearing more persistent in external media, storage time must be lengthened for a satisfactory sanitation.

 

Key words: Human urine, storage, enteric bacteria, ammonia, temperature, sanitation, fertilizer