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Innovative Approaches for Disinfection at Large Wastewater Treatment Facilities

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The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has proposed draft effluent limitations that will require disinfection of the effluent from wastewater treatment plants that discharge to the Mississippi/Missouri Rivers. The permit limits are anticipated to be a 30-day mean of 206 E coli colonies/100 mL or lower to achieve compliance with bacterial standards for recreational waters. The new effluent limits will become effective within three years of expiration of the current plant operating permit or as part of a plant upgrade, but not later than by December 30, 2013. The new regulations may soon require the wastewater treatment facilities to provide disinfection.

As large facilities consider implementation of disinfection, various alternatives will be considered to determine the most economic alternative. The most important criterion generally is compliance with permit limits at the most economical cost. Construction costs and operating and maintenance costs are therefore the key items of evaluation in the selection of a disinfection technology. Full-scale and bench-scale testing is generally recommended to assess water quality as well as to determine whether cost savings can be achieved through site-specific testing. Large wastewater treatment facilities also consider such items as staffing impacts, experience at other operating facilities, local manufacturers' experience and response, ease of control strategies to repair and control, and flexibility to accommodate future changes. In addition, issues of sustainability and carbon footprint are also being considered in the selection of a system

Another key factor that can be examined in the selection of a disinfection system is the impact from industrial users. Water quality data can be compiled through bench-scale testing to evaluate the impacts of the industrial discharges to the disinfection process.

Selection of a disinfection technology can be a very challenging process that requires careful evaluation of data to ensure successful implementation of a disinfection process.

Keywords: Chlorine; Disinfection; Ultraviolet light

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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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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