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Assimilable Organic Carbon Removal in Membrane Bioreactors and Conventional Wastewater Treatment

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Effluent from MBR facilities show a lower AOC concentration than that of conventional wastewater treatment systems, and as a consequence a reduced potential for microbial regrowth in reclaimed water distribution systems. AOC exhibit a decrease along the distribution system likely induced by the pipe biofilm. A rapid dissipation of disinfectant residual is observed along with other physical-chemical changes in water quality, e.g. turbidity, dissolved oxygen concentration. Regrowth of potential pathogenic organisms was observed in the biofilm,e.g. legionella and mycobacterium spc., although the presence of the pathogenic species was not actually measured in this investigation. Reducing AOC for preserving recycled water quality in the distribution system is of importance for operators and final users. Regrowth of bacteria might can induce formation of hydrogen sulfide inside biofilm systems that are transferred to the water. Even small amounts of hydrogen sulfide would affect the perception of the water quality by the user. Rechlorination along the distribution system will help to control regrowth but also would induce formation of additional AOC. It was observed that oxidants-disinfectants, such as chlorine or ozone, actually can increase the degradability of organic carbon and induce increases in AOC concentration. This increase in turn will induce further regrowth downstream of the point of application.
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Keywords: AOC; assimilable organic carbon; distribution systems; hydrogen sulfide; mbr; recycled water

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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