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Suspended solids interfere with the efficiency of disinfection, in part, due to bacterial colonization of particles in wastewater. A fractionation technique was developed to separate particle-associated bacteria into three fractions based on particle size. A blending technique was incorporated to separate bacteria from their associated particles. The results show that the degree to which particles interfere with UV disinfection efficiency is dependent on particle size. The small size fraction (< 5 μm) consistently produced a statistically significant faster disinfection rate than the large fraction (> 20 μm), with the unfiltered sample and the medium fraction (particles > 5 μm, but < 20 μm) in between the two extremes. Tailing also was observed only in the large fraction. Particle shielding appeared to be the primary mechanism of interference. Statistically significant decreases in disinfection rates and the tendency to tail can both be attributed to particle shielding.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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