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Disinfection After MBR Ultra-Filtration Membranes - Is It Needed?

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The Oxford Pollution Control Plant (PCP) was retrofitted to an MBR process in 2008 (MBR capacity of 13,620 m3/d annual average flow). The conventional activated sludge process was converted to MBR process by adding membrane cassettes within the existing rectangular secondary clarifiers. Since MBR start-up in May 2008, permeate E.coli counts have been consistently < 10 MPN/100 mL – well below the permit requirement of 200 MPN/100 mL – suggesting there may be a basis for reduced downstream UV disinfection. The purpose of this paper was to initiate debate within the wastewater community on the effectiveness of MBR ultrafiltration membranes as a microbiological barrier and whether future designs should consider disinfection “ credits” for activated sludge applications. Future study work is being planned at the Oxford PCP in order to assess the microbiological quality of MBR ultra-filtration permeate vs UV effluent quality to gain a better understanding of ultra-filtration “disinfection” capabilities.
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Keywords: E.coli; MBR; coliphage; disinfection; membranes; permeate; ultra-filtration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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