The Challenge of the Future: Operating Emerging Disinfection Technologies

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ABSTRACT
The Clean Water Act (1972 and 1977) established the basis for regulating pollutant discharges into the waters of the United States. This Act contains many provisions regulating pollutant discharges and surface water quality in the United States. This act has also been modified by numerous revisions and amendments since it was enacted in 1972. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program (authorized by the Clean Water Act) regulates point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States in an effort to control water pollution.

Disinfection of treated sanitary wastewater, stormwater (through CSOs) is a key unit process used by the wastewater treatment industry to meet NPDES permit requirements and protect the receiving water (and downstream drinking water treatment plant intakes) from harmful pollutants.

Numerous disinfection processes are available for wastewater disinfection. This paper will discuss the existing wastewater disinfection options available to design engineers. It will also provide insight to emerging disinfection technologies for wastewater treatment systems and the apparent advantages/disadvantages of these systems.

INTRODUCTION
The Clean Water Act (1972 and 1977) established the basis for regulating pollutant discharges into the waters of the United States. This Act contains many provisions regulating pollutant discharges and surface water quality in the United States. This act has also been modified by numerous revisions and amendments since it was enacted in 1972.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program (authorized by the Clean Water Act) regulates point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States in an effort to control water pollution. The NPDES permit program contains the following programs which regulates sanitary wastewater and stormwater runoff:

  • Secondary Treatment Standards;
  • Water Quality Based Permitting;
  • Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs);
  • Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs);
  • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems;
  • National Pretreatment Program; and
  • Biosolids.

Disinfection of treated sanitary wastewater, stormwater (through CSOs) is a key unit process used by the wastewater treatment industry to meet NPDES permit requirements and protect the receiving water (and downstream drinking water treatment plant intakes) from harmful pollutants.

Numerous disinfection processes are available for wastewater disinfection. This paper will discuss the existing wastewater disinfection options available to design engineers. It will also provide insight to emerging disinfection technologies for wastewater treatment systems and the apparent advantages/disadvantages of these systems.

The nature of engineering unit process design and construction is based upon the development and implementation of new process technologies (emerging technologies) that will be the single solution all the problems of the industry. Of course, with the passing of time and the implementation of these processes, the industry discovers that all unit processes have advantages and disadvantages. Therefore the ultimate disinfection unit process is always just over the engineering design horizon.

The major disinfection unit processes discussed in the paper and presentation that are commonly used in wastewater treatment plants in the Unites States will be divided as follows:

  • Chemical Disinfection;
  • UV Radiation
  • Other/Emerging Disinfection Processes

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