Ultraviolet Disinfection of Fecal Coliform in Municipal Wastewater: Effects of Particle Size

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Suspended solids interfere with the efficiency of disinfection using UV radiation by decreasing the rate of disinfection and inducing tailing. However, conventional measures of solids (total suspended solids, turbidity, and UV transmittance) do not adequately predict the presence or degree of these effects. Bacteria and viruses can become associated with particles in wastewater. A fractionation technique was developed to separate particle-associated bacteria into three fractions, based on particle size. 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) between the two extremes. Tailing also was observed only in the large fraction. Correlations between the disinfection rate constant and the percentage of large fraction bacteria of a sample were good.

Keywords: UV; fecal coliform; particles; suspended solids; wastewater disinfection

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143005X94385

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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