Collection of sewage for bacteriophage isolation


an indian man in sewage (phages can be isolated from sewage)
Sewage sampling

Before any sample collection makes sure you have a permit to do so in a certain area. In some instances, the sampling location specified in the permit, or the location chosen by the permittee, may not be adequate for the collection of a representative wastewater sample. In such instances, the investigator is not limited by permit specifications and may collect a sample at a more representative location. When a conflict exists between the permittee and the regulatory agency regarding the most representative sampling location, both sites should be sampled, and the reason for the conflict should be noted in the field notes and the inspection or study report. Recommendations and reasons for a change in sampling locations should be given to the appropriate permitting authority. 


Influent wastewaters are preferably sampled at locations of highly turbulent flow in order to ensure good mixing; however, in many instances the most desirable location is not accessible. Preferable influent wastewater sampling locations include: 

1) the upflow siphon following a comminutor (in absence of grit chamber); 

2) the upflow distribution box following pumping from main plant wet well; 

3) aerated grit chamber; 

4) flume throat; 

5) pump wet well when the pump is operating, or 6) downstream of preliminary screening. When possible, influent samples should be collected upstream from side stream returns.


 Effluent samples should be collected at the site specified in the permit, or if no site is specified in the permit, at the most representative site downstream from all entering wastewater streams prior to discharge into the receiving waters. If a conflict exists between the permittee and inspector regarding the source being sampled or the location of the most representative site, Site Selection for Wastewater Sampling. 

Pond and Lagoon 

Sampling Generally, composite effluent wastewater samples should be collected from ponds and lagoons. Even if the ponds or lagoons have long retention times, composite sampling is necessary because ponds and lagoons have the tendency to have flow paths that short circuit, which changes the designed detention time.

How to collect the sample?

The simple way is by Using a sterile falcon tube (45-50ml) to collect the sewage water and then pour it into the well-labeled borosilicate container (even falcon tube can work) and tight the cover of the container not to allow leakage. Transfer the container to the cool box ready for transportation to the laboratory. 

NOTE: Don't forget to put on PPE as described in details here

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