Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Willie F. Harper, Jr., PhD


Bacillus anthracis has been a biological threat for decades and after the 2001 terrorist attack via the U.S. Postal Service where five people died, there was heightened awareness and inquiry on the subject (Goel, 2015; Greenberg et al., 2010; Nicholson & Galeano, 2003; Spotts Whitney et al., 2003). The health risk to humans makes this biological agent, a Tier 1 agent and one of the most likely to be used in an attack (Anthrax as a Bioterrorism Weapon | CDC, n.d.; Driks, 2009; Rose & Rice, 2014). B. anthracis is one of most resistant and potent biological warfare agents as its spores are highly resistant to natural conditions and can survive for decades in the environment, and up to two years in water (Clair et al., 2020; Driks, 2009; Goel, 2015; Gould, 1971; Mikelonis et al., 2020; Raber & Burklund, 2010). Furthermore, the spore has been identified as a water borne threat (Raber & Burklund, 2010) likely from decontamination or wastewater with final arrival at a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). There are about 16,000 WWTPs across the United States with approximately 90 on Department of Defense (DoD) installations (Barry, 2012). Additionally, DoD installations could be a target to a biological attack and should have the knowledge and be equipped to inactivate spores. The DoD, alongside the EPA NHSRC are investing time into studying the methods and efficacy of inactivating B. anthracis spores, and a potential surrogate B. atrophaeus var. globigii spores because of the limited research inactivating these spores in wastewater.

AFIT Designator



A 12-month embargo was observed.

Approved for public release. Case number(s) on file.