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Wastewater Disinfection Alternatives: Chlorine, Ozone, Peracetic Acid, and UV Light

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Disinfection tests were carried out at pilot scale to compare the disinfection efficiency of ozone, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), peracetic acid (PAA), and UV irradiation. Total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli were monitored as reference microorganisms. Total heterotrophic bacteria (THB) were also enumerated by cytometry. At similar doses, NaOCl was more effective than PAA, and its action was less affected by contact time. The results obtained by ozonation were comparable for total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and E. coli. On the contrary, some differences among the three indicators were observed for NaOCl, PAA, and UV. Differences increased with increasing values of the disinfectant concentration times contact time ( Cยท t) and were probably the result of different initial counts, as total coliforms include fecal coliforms, which include E. coli. The UV irradiation lead to complete E. coli removals, even at low doses (10 to 20 mJ/cm 2). Total heterotrophic bacteria appeared to be too wide a group to be a good disinfection indicator; no correlation was found among THB inactivation, dose, and contact time.
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Keywords: Escherichia coli; UV light; chlorination; disinfection; fecal coliforms; ozonation; peracetic acid; total coliforms; total heterotrophic bacteria

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2007

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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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