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WELL-MANAGED THERMOPHILIC COMPOSTING SYSTEM

Complete pathogen destruction is guaranteed by arriving at a temperature of 62°C (143.6°F) for one hour, 50°C (122°F) for one day, 46°C (114.8°F) for one week, or 43°C (109.4°F) for one month. It appears that no excreted pathogen can survive a temperature of 65°C (149°F) for more than a few minutes. A compost pile containing entrapped oxygen may rapidly rise to a temperature of 55°C (131°F) or above, or will maintain a temperature hot enough for a long enough period of time to thoroughly destroy human pathogens that may be in the humanure (see Figure 7.6). Furthermore, pathogen destruction is aided by microbial diversity, as discussed in Chapter 3. Table 7.14 indicates survival times of pathogens in a) soil, b) anaerobic decomposition conditions, c) composting toilets, and d) thermophilic compost piles.

Source: The Humanure Handbook. Jenkins Publishing, PO Box 607, Grove City, PA 16127. To order, phone: 1-800-639-4099.
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weblife.org | library | Humanure Handbook | Chapter 7: Well-Managed Thermophilic Composting System