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UV for Reclamation: Why it Works…Why it Does Not

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Recent concern in the regulatory community has emerged over the performance of ultraviolet light (UV) disinfection for wastewater reclamation. A number of UV systems have experienced permit violations for coliform exceedances. The question is repeatedly asked, is UV ineffective, or is there another problem? Numerous studies have shown that UV is a strong disinfectant of bacteria, virus, and protozoa, so the reasons for the coliform hits must be found elsewhere. A partial list of possible reasons for the permit violations include: improper hydraulic design, system capacity, sub par lamp performance, ineffective lamp sleeve cleaning, control system input errors, sensor malfunctions, power supply non-uniformity, and sampling errors. This paper will focus on the importance of proper hydraulic design, lamp output, and lamp sleeve cleaning.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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