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Investigation and Modeling of Solar UV-Induced Chlorine Decay in Disinfection Contact Basins at Full-Scale Wastewater Treatment Plants

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Residual chlorine loss due to UV sunlight in the chlorine disinfection contact basins (DCBs) was investigated at two full-scale wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Chlorine decay due to solar UV-induced photochemical reaction was found to be significant and had diurnal and seasonal variations. The total chlorine loss due to sunlight ranged from 19 to 26% of the total chlorine chemical use at the two plants studied. Covering chlorine contact basins led to more stable chlorine demand regardless of the diurnal and seasonal sunlight intensity. Therefore, covering chlorine contact basins offers more stable, or accurate, chlorine dosage and effluent residual control and requires less effort by plant operators. A mathematical model was developed to calculate the amount of UV-induced chlorine decay. The model developed can be used to estimate the UV-induced chlorine decay rate and total chlorine loss due to sunlight at WWTPs with various basin configurations, flowrates, chlorine dosages, and geographical locations. The model results allow the capital cost of covering needs to be assessed against the chlorine chemical cost savings.

Keywords: chlorination; chlorine decay; disinfection contact basin; modeling; photochemistry; solar UV

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2008

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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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