The Potential Breach Vectors in Biosecurity Practices and the Issues Associated with Airplane Lavatory Waste
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Biosecurity deals with the preventative measures to reduce the entrance of foreign bodies into a country that may be harmful to human health and the environment. Current preventative methods in Canada are not as thorough as countries such as New Zealand and Australia. Potential breaches in biosecurity may come from the outer body of an aircraft, through luggage and carry- on baggage, declaration card variations, and footwear contamination. Using the lavatory waste originating from the Toronto Pearson International Airport as a case study, this thesis investigates its processing to wastewater treatment plants as well as examining associated biosecurity risks. It was found that neither international nor domestic airplane lavatory waste is treated prior to municipal wastewater treatment. In addition, high wet weather flows (high rainfall and snow melt) may exceed a wastewater treatment plant’s capacity, leading to partial treatment. As such, foreign pathogens and microorganisms may survive and be transferred into Lake Ontario. Therefore, as global travel increases, the biosecurity risks of airplane lavatory waste may also increase.