Helminth Ova are the infectious eggs of parasitic worms and can pose a risk to human health. They are secreted in the feces of infected individuals and become concentrated in sewage sludge. They are resistant to environmental conditions therefore State and Federal rules require the testing of biosolids for helminth ova and enteric viruses before land application. The method used  for their detection is described at the EPA's website: Test Method for Detecting, Enumerating, and determining the Viability of Ascaris Ova in Sludge. EPA/625/R92/013

The utilized method is described in the EPA's publication entitled "Environmental Regulations and Technology, Control of Pathogens and Vector Attraction in Sewage Sludge (EPA/625/R-92/013) July 2003".  The document is a primary reference for regional, state, and local regulatory authorities and their constituents. It describes the federal requirements concerning pathogens in sewage sludge and septage destined for land application or surface disposal and guidance for meeting those requirements. The document contains minor revisions from the 1999 edition, including minor editorial changes, an updated list of EPA and state biosolids coordinators, and minor updates to the procedures for analyzing bacteria, helminth ova, and enteroviruses. It provides basic information about why pathogen control and vector attraction reduction in biosolids are essential for the protection of public health and the environment. Topics include:

  1. Current federal requirements under Subpart D of Part 503
  2. The Different Processes to Further Reduce Pathogens (Class A) and Processes to Significantly Reduce Pathogens (Class B) processes
  3. Role of EPA's Pathogen Equivalency Committee
  4. Vector attraction reduction issues
  5. Sampling and analysis protocols used to meet the quantitative requirements of Part 503
  6. References and additional resources related to biosolids use

We also offer various modifications of this method to allow for the detection of these pathogens in sewer water, foods, and soil samples. Our analysts are trained and qualified to determine the presence of even a small number of helminth ova in a sample. Additionally we provide enumeration and viability testing for inactivation and filtration testing.