9 Dec 2015

New purification to stop resistant bacteria

Submitted by Eva.Haxton

The Akademiska hospital in Uppsala will be the first hospital in Sweden to use ozon to purify sewage water from antibiotics and resistant bacteria. A pilot project to use the new technique will be started this month.

A lot of the antibiotics we eat passes straight through your body and ends up in the sewage water. The rest is in sludge, manure tanks but also in hospital sewages.
—The concentration is very high within health care, since we often have to use the kind of antibiotics that kills many different bacteria, Björn Olsen says, senior physician and professor at the clinic for infectious disease at Akademiska sjukhuset in Uppsala.


25 percent is from hospitals

Against that background, the County council last year decided to go for a sewage purification strategy. The role model is Herlev’s hospital outside Copenhagen where it was estimated that 25 percent of the total discharge of antibiotic resistant bacteria was from hospitals. To day that hospital has their own full scale sewage plant.


Test and pilot project

That may well be the case in Uppsala as well. But the technique has to be tested. The basis is to use ozon, a gas that is natural to the atmosphere and contributes to purify the air at ground level. The ozon oxidize pollution very quickly and breaks it down to carbon dioxide and water. If the methods proves to be cost efficient the Akademiska hospital plans to install a pilot plant at the clinic of Infectious disease in about a year in order to verify the technique in practice. After that trial period the decision will be taken whether to install a permanent plant or not. The project is run by the Unit of environment at Akademiska hospital in cooperation with researchers tied to the Department of Medical Sciences and Biochemistry and Microbiology at Uppsala university.