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Research article2000Peer reviewed

Variation of chemical and microbial parameters in collection and storage tanks for source separated human urine

Höglund, Caroline; Vinnerås, Björn; Stenström, Thor Axel; Jönsson, Håkan


To investigate if variations in concentrations occur at different levels within urine tanks and to evaluate possible consequences thereof, urine samples were collected from four collection tanks and one storage tank of different urine separating sewerage systems. Plant nutrients and metals were found to concentrate in the sediment at the bottom of the tanks. Also, densities of indicator bacteria were higher in the bottom layer, probably due to adsorption to sedimented particles. The differences in concentration at different levels became more apparent during storage of the urine mixture. After four months storage concentrations of the investigated indicator bacteria, except clostridia, were below detection limits at all levels. Considering the variability in nutrient concentration, samples from the middle level correspond well to the average composition in the tanks and can be used to calculate urine application rates. When estimating hygienic risks with the reuse of human urine the concentration variability also needs to be considered.


source separation; human urine; stratification; plant nutrients; indicator bacteria; sampling technique

Published in

Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A
2000, Volume: 35, number: 8, pages: 1463-1475

      SLU Authors

    • Vinnerås, Björn

      • Department of Agricultural Engineering, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Jönsson, Håkan

        • Department of Agricultural Engineering, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Other Environmental Engineering

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)