Studies Indicate Proper Wastewater Treatment Reduces Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

It’s not a secret that the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is on the rise. The majority of these strands can be found in the sewage lines of hospitals where approximately one-third of the patients are on some form of antibiotic. Shockingly, these strains are not just immune to traditional medications, but also to the newer designer drugs.

Study Findings

Due to the growing trend, National University of Ireland researchers initiated a study on how wastewater treatment played a role in overcoming the rise of antibiotic-resistant strands. The project’s outcome notes that current treatment programs successfully reduce the amount of microbes that make it from the sewer to the environment. However, additional treatment strategies will be necessary to eliminate the problem completely.

The antibiotic resistant strands are not isolated to Ireland. This problem exists around the world. A project recently conducted by the University of Georgia showed that samples drawn from 11 locations from nine different streams found eight points of contamination despite wastewater treatment prior to discharge into the environment.

The University of Colorado found similar contaminants from streams and water sources in their area. Each sample was tested for bacteria. Contaminated samples were then treated with various types of antibiotics. Sadly, they found several areas containing strands resistant to those antibiotics as well.

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Wastewater Treatment Options

Despite there being contamination in several water systems, treatment prior to discharge does work. Universities and surrounding principalities are working to increase the effectiveness of the current treatment systems.

Current methods used, especially by hospitals, include reverse osmosis and ozonation. When combined with activated carbon, these methods significantly reduce the amount of antibiotic resistant bacterial strands. However, the sludge that is often found along with the water poses additional problems.

Researchers believe this sludge is the culprit of spreading contamination from the hospitals to the environment. Further treatment to help reduce bacterial contamination in the sludge is necessary. The filtration of sediment could help remove residual contaminants.

By removing as many contaminants as possible from wastewater, the impact of antibiotic resistant bacteria is significantly reduced. Filtration, activated carbon, ozonation, and control of the leftover sludge all play a part in keeping the ecosystem safe from contaminants.

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About M.W. Watermark

M.W. Watermark wants to make a difference. We are passionate about the world’s water. We are innovative, focused on customer service and always try to exceed expectations. We are an environmentally conscious company with people who are energized, encouraged and inspired to make a difference in the water business, and as a result, make a positive difference to our planet by helping to keep our shared, finite water supply clean and usable for generations to come. We build amazing, custom water and wastewater treatment equipment. We also specialize in rebuilding used water treatment equipment. Together, we can make a difference.

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Studies Indicate Proper Wastewater Treatment Reduces Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

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