Pathogens identified in sewage contaminated bathing water

We provide here the full text of the publication Swimming in Sewage published jointly in 2004 by the US Natural Resources Defence Council and the Environmental Integrity Project ( and

This publication records the exact nature of the pathogenspathogens A virus, bacterium or parasite which causes disease is a pathogen. Disease causing pathogens live in the environment, and both humans and animals are hosts to them. Pathogenic viruses, bacteria and parasites are present in sewage, originating from humans and animals, and thus it is essential that sewage is given proper treatment in order to disable (kill) these pathogens before the end-products of sewage treatment (solids and water effluent) are returned to the environment. and diseases which humans run the risk of contracting when they bathe in waters that have been contaminated by human sewage and animal wastes. These diseases have been tabulated here in the publication which also discusses the nature of the practices in the sewage treatment industry which may result in the contamination of bathing waters.

This listing of pathogens present in untreated sewage complements that already resides on our website under ‘Wastewater and Sewage Treatment’, 28th October 2009, to be found at in the UK Bathing Waters section.

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