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Effects of Freezing on the Survival of Escherichia coli and Bacillus and Response to UV and Chlorine After Freezing

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Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Bacillus megaterium bacteria were frozen at −15°C using a freezer and a spray freezing method. The frozen Bacillus spores were also exposed to UV and free chlorine. An average of 4.7-log inactivation was obtained from the spray ice with 2-day storage time, while the freezer freezing only caused 0.84-log reduction with the same storage time. Significantly higher inactivation levels were observed for the E. coli cells with 2-day storage compared with those without storage. The spray freezing was found more effective in killing the E. coli cells, while more cells were sublethally injured by the freezer freezing. Freezing did not kill the Bacillus megaterium spores, but affected their response to UV and chlorine. Greater inactivation levels were observed at higher free chlorine doses or longer contact time, and the UV fluence-response curve showed initial rapid kill followed by tailing for the frozen spores.

Keywords: Bacillus megaterium; Escherichia coli; UV irradiation; chlorine; disinfection; freezing treatment; log inactivation; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2007

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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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