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Ultraviolet and Chlorine Disinfection of Mycobacterium in Wastewater: Effect of Aggregation

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Mycobacteria naturally aggregate in water, a characteristic that may serve to protect them against disinfection in wastewater. Secondary effluent was spiked with Mycobacterium terrae (M. terrae), sequentially filtered through 100-, 41-, and 20-μm nylon filters to partition aggregate sizes, confirmed using particle-size analysis and microscopy. Each sample was exposed to doses of UV light (10 to 60 mJ/cm2 at 254 nm) and free chlorine (27 to 150 mg-min/L at 4°C). Inactivation of M. terrae in wastewater was initially rapid, with 2.5 log reduction at 14 mJ/cm2 and 56 mg-min/L for UV and free chlorine, respectively. However, in effluent and 100-μm filtered wastewater, spiked M. terrae was present to the highest doses evaluated. Interestingly, M. terrae passed through 41- and 20-μm filters were inactivated rapidly, with no survivors after moderate disinfection doses. Inactivation of Mycobacteria in wastewater may be compromised by aggregates larger than 41 microns.
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Keywords: Contaminant Candidate List; UV; chlorine; inactivation; particle association

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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