| Heterotrophic Bacteria
sewage sludge biosolids, reclaimed water & drinking water
by Jim Bynum
The use of the term Heterotrophic nonpathogenic bacteria by EPA is an attempt to fool the public.
These are the gram negative coliform, fecal coliform as well as other types of deadly pathogens.
Heterotroph means " An organism that cannot synthesize its own food and is dependent on complex
organic substances for nutrition." All animals are heterotrophic, as well as fungi and many bacteria.The
term Heterothropic means the organelle of a cell that gets it's nutrience from other living organisms,
including a bacteria, person, fungi and animals. In effect, all disease causing pathogens contain
Heterothropic functional parts within each cell.
Since the mid-90s EPA has been using misleading science as it concerns pathogen contaminated sewage
effluents and drinking water. Since the early 1980s, EPA has been aware that antibiotic resistant genes
were transferred among bacteria during the sewage treatment process. Yet, EPA has been promoting the
use of drug resistant pathogen contaminated sewage sludge and liquid effluent as a fertilizer and irrigation
water for crops, school yards and home lawns.
Sludge used in this manner was called biosolids and liquid effluent was called reclaimed water.
The liquid sewage effluent containing drug resistant bacteria, with a high disinfectant requirement,
returned to the river can be picked up by drinking water treatment plants which uses a low level of
Coliform, a group of gram negative bacteria, treated with low levels of disinfectants was used as an
indicator of fecal contamination on food and in water until antibiotic resistant and toxin producing genes
were picked up by the coliform group and became disease causing pathogens.. Now, fecal coliform (E.
coli, an enteric bacteria ) is used as a primary indicator of fecal contamination. We really don't know which
strain of E. coli is revealed in the test. However, we do know E. coli 0157 does not show up in the fecal
Since the mid-90s EPA has encouraged the use of Heterotrophic Bacteria as an indicator of the presence
of coliforms in water supplies." EPA states, "There is evidence that heterotrophic bacteria are not
hazardous to healthy individuals, but may be opportunistic pathogens capable of infecting individuals with
impaired immune systems."
The public relation spin on this is, according to WaterTech on line, "The research into possible health
effects of heterotrophic bacteria - a name for a range of different microscopic organisms - is led by a small
cadre of EPA microbiologists, despite numerous studies that show heterotrophic bacteria do not pose a
Actually, heterotrophic bacteria include all of the coliforms, including fecal coliform, and all of the other
disease causing pathogens of concern.