Use of ultraviolet disinfection and advanced oxidation process for reclaimed water treatment of microcontaminants


Innovative Treatment, Advanced Oxidation, Reclaimed Water, Ultraviolet light, Peroxide, Disinfection, Microcontaminants


Many regions of the United States, experiencing rapid population growth and faced with the challenge of meeting increased water demands, are turning to reclaimed water as an alternative water supply source. Concurrent with the rising need for reclaimed water is the rising public concern over emerging pathogens and micropollutants. As part of the WateReuse Foundation’s (WRF) project on “Innovative Treatment Technologies for Reclaimed Water” (WRF 02-009), an advanced oxidation process using ultraviolet light/hydrogen peroxide (UV/H2O2) was tested for pathogen and microcontaminant destruction on filtered wastewater effluent.

To meet the technical challenges, Duke University teamed with Carollo Engineers, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and others to research the use of UV alone and UV in conjunction with H2O2 for disinfection and micropollutant destruction. The project includes detailed benchtop, pilot, and full-scale investigations of conventional and emerging (yet market ready) technologies. This article discusses the operation and results of the UV/H2O2 pilot. Benchtop testing for a range of technologies was performed concurrent and subsequent to the testing documented here, and the results will be presented elsewhere.

The UV/H2O2 pilot demonstrated that UV alone at low UV doses (<50 mJ/cm2) did not result in measurable nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) destruction. However, UV/ H2O2 at low UV doses (<50 mJ/cm2) did result in measurable destruction of specific microconstituents, and UV/H2O2 at high UV doses (>100 mJ/cm2) resulted in substantial microconstituent destruction. Substantial log reduction of virus (seeded MS-2 coliphage) was achieved at low UV doses (<50 mJ/cm2), as is commonly found in the literature.

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