PURPLE PIPES: THE NEW GOVERNMENT BIO-TERRORISM THREAT
Waste regulators push sewage on unsuspecting public using bad science and a grin
The focus is on "non-disease causing coliform and heterotrophic " bacteria which no longer exist in
treatment plants, rather than the 1,407 deadly disease causing organisms that do pass through the
treatment plants. Many of the disease organism are now drug resistant and for some, there is no
treatment. EPA and the state regulatory authorities imply that enterobacter, coliform, fecal coliform and
total coliforms or somehow different from the 12 disease causing bacteria that compose a coliform. The
coliform test does not address very deadly bacteria the regulatory authorities forgot to mention or the
even more deadly viruses the regulatory authorities are ignoring, which they allow (promote) to be spread
on our food crops, parks, school grounds and lawns.
By Jim Bynum
Since EPA started to regulate the permitted disposal of sludge in landfills under the Clean Water Act regulation Part
258 in 1993. Under part 258, the states were required to do a risk assessment for 220 chemicals in a landfill. EPA
could not even do a risk assessment for the chemicals in part 503. Therefore, EPA has taken sewage disposal outside
the law and given the states the option of dumping pathogen contaminated sewage sludge on food crops, parks,
school grounds and home lawns as a fertilizer and using drug resistant pathogen contaminated sewage effluent IN
PURPLE PIPES as reclaimed, recycled irrigation water for food crops, parks, school grounds and lawns and even in
building cooling systems, EVEN WHEN IT CAN NOT BE RELEASED TO SURFACE WATERS OF THE NAPA RIVER
UNDER AN NPDES PERMIT. Now, many states are mandating the use of reclaimed, recycled sewage effluent water in
purple pipes for new developments.
Sewage sludge use and reclaimed water use in not new. Sewage treatment plants have been giving away sludge since
they began producing it. Milwaukee has been selling sludge as a fertilizer since 1926. Los Angeles began using
reclaimed water in the 60s. In 1998, Los Angeles funded a study Issues in Potable Reuse: The Viability of
Augmenting Drinking Water Supplies with Reclaimed Water by the National Research Council to prove reclaimed
water use was safe. However, the study did point out that the standard coliform test used as an indicator for fecal
contamination was not suitable to determine the safety of the water. In fact, it is unsuitable for determining that any of
the 1,407 human pathogen species may be in sewage biological solids sludge or reclaimed, recycled sewage
The coliform test is used for both sewage sludge biological solids and reclaimed, recycled sewage effluent water to
indicate human fecal disease organisms (i.e., bacteria, viruses, and parasites) that are in the two streams of waste
released from the sewage treatment process. The interesting part of this oxmoronic scheme is that bacteria are used
in the treatment process to separate the sludge biological solids from the final reclaimed, recycled sewage effluent
water leaving the plant, which is a serious bio-terrorism threat.
The reality is that no one seems to understand what a coliform is. As an example, the El Dorado, County, California
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH division states:
- Coliform bacteria are indicator organisms which are used in water microbiological analysis.
- Coliforms are a group of bacteria which are readily found in soil, decaying vegetation, animal feces, and raw
- They are not normally present in deep groundwater and treated surface water.
- These indicator organisms may be accompanied by pathogens (i.e., disease-causing organisms), but do not
normally cause disease in healthy individuals.
- However, individuals with compromised immune systems should be considered at risk.
- Coliforms, rather than the actual pathogens, are used to assess water quality because their detection is more
- Pathogens appear in smaller numbers than coliforms, so are less likely to be isolated. Drinking water found to
contain coliforms is considered biologically contaminated.
The Alice Minter Trust in Kansas City found that wasn't exact true in 1997. Four different soil test samples were
taken on Trust property that had been subject to surface water run-off from the Kansas City, Missouri sewage sludge
farm site. All four samples were tested for fecal coliform bacteria. The test results revealed coliform bacteria levels of
3000, 9000 and one with 650,000 per 100ML. The samples with the lowest fecal coliform bacteria levels had also been
tested for Salmonella and E. coli. The results of those two tests with relative low coliform level revealed levels of both
Salmonella and E. coli at 800,000 units per 100ML. This was one year after the last sludge biological solids disposal
Santa Cruz County, California also seems to be very confused about the coliform testing:.
- Safe swimming standards indicate that single-sample levels of enterococcus bacteria greater than 104 cfu's, E.
coli or fecal coliform bacteria greater than 400 cfu's, and total coliform levels greater than 10,000 cfu's per
100mls. of water may contain disease-causing organisms and be hazardous to swimmers.
It would appear that the state of California gave the counties data sets to fill in the reclaimed, recycled water reports.
CALIFORNIA TITLE 22 Section 64655(b)
bacteriological contamination. Fecal coliform and E. coli are indicators of specific fecal or human waste
- Total coliforms serve as a generic indicator organism that captures a broad range of potential
contamination. Coliform monitoring has been used by the industry for many years and the Information
Collection Rule (61 Fed. Reg. 24354 (May 14, 1996)) database is populated with coliform monitoring data.
This regulation specifies coliform monitoring to maintain consistency with existing data sets.
CALIFORNIA REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD SAN FRANCISCO BAY REGION states:
which sample analyses have been completed, and
- Total coliform After adequate contact with disinfectant the number of total coliform organisms shall not
- (1) a median value of 2.2 MPN/100ml as determined from the bacteriological results of the last seven days for
- (2) a maximum value of 23MPN/100ml in more than one sample in any 30 day period.
- No sample shall exceed a total coliform value of 240 MPN/100 ml.
MPN (most probable number) gives the testing authority a lot of leeway. The board claims to allow an average value of
22 MPN of coliform per liter of reclaimed water over a seven day period--but then allows 2,400 MPN of coliform per liter
of reclaimed water.
It appears from the COOPERATIVE EXTENSION, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY
NEWSLETTER that even the University doesn't under the nature of coliforms::
animals, and thus they are a normal constituent of fecal material. In general, coliform bacteria do not cause
- Coliforms are bacteria that live and replicate in the intestinal tract of humans and other warm-blooded
disease in humans.
words, if coliforms are detected in water, it is assumed that pathogenic microorganisms may also be
- Coliforms are inactivated, or destroyed, to varying degrees by water and wastewater treatment processes.
- It was believed for many years that the processes that inactivate coliforms also inactivate any pathogenic
(disease-causing) microorganisms that were present in the water or wastewater.
- Thus, coliforms have been used as indicators for the presence of pathogenic microorganisms. In other
present, and steps must be taken to protect the public health.
Recently, water industry scientists have admitted in studies that inactivated bacteria are viable, but nonculturable by
standard test methods. Since the scientific belief that treatment inactivates coliforms and pathogens are no longer
facts, scientists have started using Heterotrophic bacteria as an indicator for fecal contamination in water and sludge
studies because these bacteria populations interfere with the coliform test. Can you believe scientists claim pathogens
in drinking water will not harm you unless there has been a study done to connect the disease illness to water?
According to the Drinking Water Research Foundation, no one seems to know any thing about bacteria:
- Heterotrophic (HPC) populations greater then 500-1000 cfu/mL in drinking water can interfere with coliform/E.
coli analysis by lactose-based methods, which include the membrane-filtration method
- Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, and Aeromonas cannot be considered opportunistic pathogens when found in
drinking water, since there is no clinical or epidemiological evidence to support this designation.
Next, scientists claim that there are more of these pathogens in food than drinking water, so there can't be a
problem and there is no public significance. Now we know why the purple pipes used to irrigate the spinach and lettuce
food crops in the Salinas Valley are so dangerous.
Heterotrophic Plate Count Bacteria in Drinking Water - Public Health Implications? 22-24 April 2002, Geneva,
Switzerland. By Dr David Cunliffe, Department of Human Services, South Australia
- Heterotrophs are defined as microorganisms including bacteria and fungi that require organic carbon for growth.
- Numbers of HPC in foods are several orders of magnitude higher than those in drinking water and there is no
evidence, in the absence of specific pathogens, that this general group of organisms represents a human health
- So-called opportunistic pathogens that may be recovered in HPC testing include strains of Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, Aeromonas, Klebsiella and Acinetobacter
- Improvement of HPC methods will not change the status that tests for these organisms as a group lacks public
The question is, how many of the millions of illnesses blamed on bad sanitation and food handling in the home and
contaminated food are caused by these so called opportunistic pathogens contaminated water that lacks a public
health significance. Since 1986, foodborne illnesses have leaped from 2 million cases a years to 76 million in 1999.
There have not been any published estimates of food borne illnesses since 1999. Of course, the disease organisms
attributed to foodborne illness may all be found is sewage sludge biological solids (biosolids), compost and reclaimed,
recycled sewage effluent water which were judged safe based on the coliform test. Paralleling the use of bacteria and
virus contaminated sewage biological solids sludge and recycled sewage water are the disease epidemics that are
currently raging across the United States as well as other countries. 24.6% of people were obese in 2005, up from
20% in 2000 rate of Morbid Obesity which may be caused by viruses, 25 million infected young girls and women
infected with the Papillomasviruse, 1 in 150 8-year-old children have Autism, In 2003 7.8% of school-aged
children were reported to have an ADHD diagnosis by their parent. Three to 6 million children die of
gastroenteritis each year, most caused by viruses. Mumps, measles caused 745,000 deaths in 2001. From
1980 to 1996, asthma prevalence among children increased by an average of 4.3% per year, from 3.6% to
6.2%. Three million people are infected by bacteria, viruses, fungi or other organisms that
cause Pneumonia each year. About 60,000 people die from pneumonia each year. Now there is are new
"SUPER" bugs that causes (Necrotizing) pneumonia. Then we have an epidemic of Necrotizing fasciitis,
an invasive bacterial infection that destroys deep soft tissue in the body very quickly.
11.5 percent of adults have diagnosed heart disease (24.7 million -- 654,092 deaths).
While some employees of EPA and it's partners have claimed treated sludge biological solids, compost and reclaimed,
recycled sewage effluent water is safe, the documentation is not there to prove their case.
According to EPA's James Smith:
- "In 2001 the USEPA and USDA held an expert meeting, "Emerging Infectious Disease Agents and Issues
Associated with Animal Manures, Biosolids and Similar Byproducts" "Currently there are no USEPA microbial
standards for reclaimed wastewater. Each state is responsible for the development of treatment guidelines and
standards " "Most standards for the reuse of wastewater do not involve the testing for pathogenic
microorganisms." Recent studies have shown that viable Cryptosporidium oocysts are present in tertiary treated
reclaimed wastewater. This has led to a call for standards for Cryptosporidium reclaimed waters." "The increased
use of ultraviolet light may lessen this concern because Giardia and Cryptosporidium are easily inactivated by
this disinfectant ; however, viruses are very resistant to ultraviolet light."
- "Today there are more than 16,000 wastewater treatment plants in the United States treating approximately 150
billion liters of wastewater per day (USEPA, 1997)." "Approximately 5 million dry Mg of sewage sludge per year is
generated in the United States, of which 60% is land-applied." "Pathogens present in sewage and sludge are
shown in Table 5 together with their associated disease or symptoms." "Work is needed to better document the
presence of pathogens and other organisms in manure and their fate through the various treatment regimes,
including survival in or on the soil or on crops after application of the treated wastes."
- "New organisms of concern were identified including the bacteria E. coli O157:H7, Listeria, and Helicobacter; the
viruses poliovirus, coxsackievirus, echovirus, hepatitis A, rotavirus, and Norwalk agents; and the parasites
Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Toxoplasma, Microsporidia, and Giardia."
- "Concerns about the potential health risks from pathogens associated with the land application of wastes will
continue into the foreseeable future. Over the last decade, at least one new pathogen per year that could be
transmitted through the environment has been recognized as a new public health threat." "The application of
microbial risk assessment demands better data on the survival and transport of specific pathogens during the
land application of wastes. Information is needed on the effects of treatment processes, transport, and survival
of emerging and newly recognized pathogens; the concentration of pathogens in wastes; and the potential for
the regrowth of bacterial pathogens after treatment. Only with this information can we be assured that we are
using the best management practices to protect our water and food supplies."
The reason most standards for the reuse of wastewater do not involve the testing for pathogenic microorganisms is
that either sewage sludge biological solids and sewage effluent water that is reclaimed or recycled are known to
contain very deadly drug resistant pathogenic bacteria, viruses, protozoa and helminths.
EPA and states such as California hold up the standard coliform test to prove sewage biological solids or reclaimed
recycled sewage effluent water is safe at some level. However, this test was developed by the FDA in 1914 to indicate
the presence of fecal matter contamination by human manure. The 48 hour test indicated that one or more of 12
bacteria that gave the same imprint on the test culture was present in food. Since 1914, all 12 bacteria in the coliform
group have developed strains pathogenic to humans.
THE GROUP OF PATHOGENIC ENTERIC BACTERIA COMPOSING A COLIFORM
Citrobacter: C. freundii is suspected to cause diarrhea and possibly extraintestinal infections. C. diversus has been
linked to a few cases of meningitis in newborns.
Edwardsiella tarda: E. tarda produces hydrogen sulfide. This bacterium is usually found in aquatic animals and
reptiles. However, it has been known to cause gastroenteritis and wound infections in humans.
Enterobacter: several species cause opportunistic infections of the urinary tract as well as other parts of the body.
E. aerogenes and E. cloacae are two such pathogens that do not cause diarrhea, but that are sometimes associated
with urinary tract and respiratory tract infections.
ESCHERICHIA COLI: Besides being the number one cause of human urinary tract infections, E. coli has been linked to
diseases in just about every other part of the body. Pneumonia, meningitis, and traveler's diarrhea are among the many
illnesses that pathogenic strains of E. coli can cause. Pathogenic strains of E. coli can cause severe cases of diarrhea
in all age groups by producing a powerful endotoxin. [Central America Shigella strain Toxin] Treating E. coli
infections with antibiotics may actually place the patient in severe shock which could possibly lead to
death. This is due to the fact that more of the bacterium's toxin is released when the cell dies.
Klebsiella: Klebsiella's pathogenicity can be attributed to its production of a heat-stable enterotoxin. K. pneumoniae
is second only to E. coli as a urinary tract pathogen. Klebsiella infections are encountered far more often now than in
the past. This is probably due to the bacterium's antibiotic resistance properties. Klebsiella species may contain
resistance plasmids (R-plasmids) which confer resistance to such antibiotics as ampicillin and carbenicillin. To make
matters worse, the R-plasmids can be transferred to other enteric bacteria not necessarily of the same species.
Morganella morganii can cause urinary tract and wound infections, as well as diarrhea.
Providencia species have been associated with nosocomial (hospital acquired) urinary tract infections.
P. alcalifaciens, has been associated with some cases of diarrhea in children.
Proteus, can cause urinary tract infections and hospital-acquired infections. P.mirabilis, a cause of wound and
urinary tract infections. most strains of P. mirabilis are sensitive to ampicillin and cephalosporins. P. vulgaris is not
sensitive to these antibiotics.
Salmonella: S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis are the two leading causes of salmonellosis (inflammation of the
intestine caused by Salmonella). S. typhi is unique because it is only carried by humans. This intracellular parasite can
cause typhoid fever (enteric fever) which is characterized by fever, diarrhea, and inflammation of the infected organs.
Serratia genus were once known as harmless organisms that produced a characteristic red pigment. Today, Serratia
marcescens is considered a harmful human pathogen which has been known to cause urinary tract infections, wound
infections, and pneumonia. Serratia bacteria also have many antibiotic resistance properties which may become
important if the incidence of Serratia infections dramatically increases
Shigella is also an invasive pathogen which can be recovered from the bloody stool of an infected host. Invasive
pathogens colonize the host's tissues as opposed to growing on tissue surfaces.
More recently, heterotrophic bacteria have been used as an indicator of fecal contamination by some scientists. These
bacteria include Achromobacter, Alcaligenes, Arthrobacter, Citromonas [citrobacter], Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas,
and Zoogloea. Heterotophic normally are able to live in either the presence or absence of oxygen and break down the
organic matter in the activated sludge process to give off carbon dioxide, a major green house gas. Today, they are
pathogenic to humans. This indicates a clear case of the transfer of pathogenic genes from one organism to others
during the treatment process. A situation EPA's virologist Mark Meckes reported in 1982 when EPA first created its
sludge disposal policy as a fertilizer. Next came the purple pipes with the other half of the sewage stream. Now we have
to wonder why the wastewater scientists want to spread these disease organisms in our water, on our food, parks,
school grounds and lawns?
HPC Bacteria Issues and Their Effect on the POU Industry: Analysis, by Peter S. Cartwright, P.E., CWS-VI:
- Arguably, the leading microbiologist in the point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) segment of the water
treatment industry, University of Arizona professor Charles Gerba, is currently investigating these issues. (Gerba
presented his most recent findings at the WQA Las Vegas convention in March 2003). He has indicated that the
inhibitory effect of HPC bacteria on pathogenic bacteria is so significant that HPC bacteria proliferation shouldn't
Heterotrophic bacteria acknowledge at the HYPERION TREATMENT PLANT (PLAYA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA)
Alcaligenes -- has undergone a number of changes during the last 20 years. The species Achromobacter
(Alcaligenes) xylosoxidans has consecutively been named Achromobacter xylosoxidans, Alcaligenes denitrificans
subsp. xylosoxidans, and Alcaligenes xylosoxidans subsp. xylosoxidans. More recently, the name Achromobacter
xylosoxidans was again proposed. It is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of causing a variety of infections,
including bacteremia, meningitis, pneumonia, and peritonitis . Nosocomial outbreaks attributed to disinfectant solutions,
dialysis fluids, saline solution, and deionized water contaminated with this species have been described. A.
xylosoxidans is also capable of persistent infection of the respiratory tract of persons with cystic fibrosis. third,
multidrug resistance is found in one-third of A. xylosoxidans isolates in CF patients (12, 14); and fourth, transmission of
A. xylosoxidans strains between close contacts seem to occur more frequently than was previously assumed.
Arthrobacter -- Whipple's syndrome (uveitis, B27-negative spondylarthropathy, meningitis, and lymphadenopathy)
associated with Arthrobacter sp. infection.
Arthrobacter -- Identification of volatiles generated by potato tubers Solanum tuberosum CV: Maris Piper) infected by
Erwinia carotovora, Bacillus polymyxa and Arthrobacter sp.
Citromonas [citrobacter] -- No anaerobes inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella
oxytoca, Citrobacter freundii, Citrobacter diversus orStreptococcus faecalis.
Citrobacter: C. freundii is suspected to cause diarrhea and possibly extraintestinal infections. C. diversus has been
linked to a few cases of meningitis in newborns.
Flavobacterium -- Two strains of Flavobacterium meningosepticum isolated from cases of meningitis are described.
One was isolated in Botswana from a man with an aplastic anaemia, the other in the UK from an infant who was
probably infected in Bangladesh.
Flavobacterium -- Reference: HOLMES (B.), OWEN (R.J.), STEIGERWALT (A.G.) and BRENNER (D.J.):
Flavobacterium gleum, a new species found in human clinical specimens. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1984, 34, 21-25.
Flavobacterium: cause infection in premature infants and immunocompromised individuals. The species most often
recovered from humans is F. meningosepticum, a penicillin resistant bacterium that can cause neonatal meningitis
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most destructive of all ocular infectious agents. In the majority of instances,
the course of an untreated ulcer leads to widespread corneal suppuration and perforation within a few days
Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A was toxi in vitro for human peripheral blood macrophages. Cytotoxicity,
manifested by morphological evidence of cell death and inhibition of [3H]thymidine uptake, followed exposure to as little
as 10 ng of exotoxin per ml for 1 h. In addition, phagocytosis of heat-killed Candida albicans by macrophages exposed
to sublethal concentrations of exotoxin was impaired.
PSEUDOMONAS: These bacteria are resistant to most antibiotics and they are capable of surviving in conditions that
few other organisms can tolerate. These pathogens colonize the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, increasing the
mortality rate of individuals with the disease. Infection can occur at many sites and can lead to urinary tract infections,
sepsis, pneumonia, pharyngitis, and a lot of other problems. Pseudomonas aeruginosa; pathogenicity involves
several toxins and chemicals which the bacterium secretes upon infection. The lipopolysaccharide layer helps the cell
adhere to host tissues and prevents leukocytes from ingesting and lysing the organism. Lipases and exotoxins then
procede to destroy host cell tissue which then leads to the complications associated with infection. Burkholderia
(Pseudomonas) cepacia is an opportunistic pathogen of cystic fibrosis patients. Stenotrophomonas maltophila
(formerly known as Xanthomonas maltophila) is very similar to the Pseudomonads. S. maltophila also harbors
significant resistance to many antibiotics considered effective for treating Pseudomonas infections
Pseudomonas -- There are currently four genera accepted in the family. The genus Pseudomonas is the type genus.
The other genera are Xanthomonas, Zoogloea and Fraturia. The GC content of the DNA is 55-70 mol%. Apart from
Ps. mallei the animal and human pathogenic pseudomonads are not very host specific
Zoogloea: Young cells are actively motile. They form later dendritic growth [slime] masses attached to solids in both
natural waters and sewage. The Genus name, Zoogloea, literally translates to mean "animal glue," and it is this gooey
matrix that makes Z. ramigera unique. The microflora associated with three dentoalveolar abscesses was determined
by cultural and molecular methods. The remaining two clones did not correspond to known, previously sequenced
organisms. One was related to Zoogloea ramigera, a species of aerobic waterborne organisms,
A very wise person once said: "Trust, but verify". How did the government of the United States allow the waste industry
running EPA gain the authority to put the health of the American public at risk? How do we, are Congress, know that
some very smart bio-terrorist have not taken over regulation of the waste industry? Congress enacted the laws to
protect our health, so why are we now being forced to endure exposure of our children to this deadly sewage threat?