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Disinfection
There are a variety of techniques to disinfect fluids and surfaces. Lenntech can supply several disinfection techniques with the emphasis on environmental friendly solutions. The techniques are:

• • •

Ozone Ultra-Violet (UV) Chlorine dioxide

Other solutions are:

• •

Chlorine Hypochlorite

Every technique has its specific advantages and its own application area. In the table below some of the advantages and disadvantages are shown:
Technology Environmentally friendly Byproducts Effectivity Investment Operational costs +/++ + + + ++ + ++ ++ Fluids Surfaces

Ozone UV Chlorine dioxide Chlorine gas Hypochlorite

+ ++ +/---

+ ++ +/---

++ + ++ -

++ + ++ +/+/-

++ ++ ----

In the table below a few applications can be found: Technology Ozone disinfection UV Chlorine dioxide Applications Pharmaceutical industry, drinking water, process water, ultra pure water, surface disinfection Process water, drinking water, ozone breakdown, ultra pure water,surface disinfection Drinking water, disinfection of piping

Disinfectants Sodium hypochlorite
Sodium hypochlorite Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) is a compound that can be effectively used for water purification. It is used on a large scale for surface purification, bleaching, odor removal and water disinfection. When was sodium hypochlorite discovered? Sodium hypochlorite has a long history. Around 1785 the Frenchman Berthollet developed liquid bleaching agents based on sodium hypochlorite. The Javel company introduced this product and called it 'liqueur de Javel'. At first, it was used to bleach cotton. Because of its specific characteristics it soon became a popular compound. Hypochlorite can remove stains from clothes at room temperature. In France, sodium hypochlorite is still known as 'eau de Javel'. What are the characteristics of sodium hypochlorite?
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Sodium hypochlorite is a strong oxidator and reacts with flammable compounds and reductors. How can sodium hypochlorite be produced? Sodium hypochlorite can be produced in two ways: . which play a role in for oxidation and disinfection. certain metals and poisonous and corrosive gasses.75 gram active chlorine per day from the solution. 4NaCl. This is done to reduce odors.By dissolving salt in softened water. In water. a solution of salt (NaCl) in water is applied. For on-site salt electrolysis. How does sodium hypochlorite disinfection work? By adding hypochlorite to water. glass industries. it is irritating). Sodium hypochlorite has a relative density of is 1. water (H 2O) and salt (NaCl) are produced according to the following reaction: Cl2 + 2NaOH + → NaOCl + NaCl + H2O What are the applications of sodium hypochlorite? Sodium hypochlorite is used on a large scale. slightly yellowish solution with a characteristic odor. hypochlorite is used frequently for the purification and disinfection of the house. Hypochlorous acid is produced by the reaction of sodium hydroxide with chlorine gas. hydrochloric acid (HCl) is used to lower the pH. The oxygen atom is a very strong oxidator. Sulfuric acid (H 2SO4) can be used as an alternative for acetic acid. These are hypochlorous acid(HOCl) and the less active hypochlorite ion (OCl -). sodium hypochlorite. This solution contains 150 g active chlorine (Cl 2) per liter. Sodium hypochlorite disinfects the same way aschlorine does. Hypochlorite can be used to prevent algae and shellfish growth in cooling towers. Sodium hypochlorite is unstable. viruses and fungi. In water treatment. the pH of the water is increased. Then heated sodium hypochlorite disintegrates. Sodium hypochlorite is effective against Legionella bacteria and bio film. food industries. During this reaction the explosive hydrogen gas is also formed. synthetics industries and waste disposal industries. It is also used to detoxify cyanide baths in metal industries. paint. While sodium hypochlorite is used. Sodium hypochlorite solution is a weak base that is inflammable. it contains a concentration 10-15% sodium hypochlorite (with a pH of around 13. When sodium hypo chlorite dissolves in water. hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is formed: NaOCl + H2O → HOCl + NaOHHypochlorous acid is divided into hydrochloric acid (HCl) and oxygen (O). This also happens when sodium hypochlorite comes in contact with acids. If it is more concentrated. which results in a concentrated brine solution. The solution is electrolyzed and forms a sodium hypochlorite solution in water. chemical industries.and lime industries. including chlorine gas. For example in agriculture. in which Legionella bacteria can multiply. the following reactions take place at the electrodes: 220613 / mmbrelvi . The pH of the water determines how much hypochlorous acid is formed. hypochlorite is used to disinfect water. There are various ways to use sodium hypochlorite.5% watery solution). .Page 2 of 14 Sodium hypochlorite is a clear. Sulfuric acid is a strong acid that strongly reacts with bases and that is very corrosive. sunlight. What happens to the pH value when sodium hypochlorite is added to water? Due to the presence of caustic soda in sodium hypo chlorite. it burns and is corrosive).By adding chlorine gas (Cl2) to caustic soda (NaOH). These characteristics must be kept in mind during transport. In households. In the textile industry sodium hypochlorite is used to bleach textile. paper industries.→ 4Na+ + 4ClBy leading the salty solution over an electrolysis cell. As a bleaching agent for domestic use it usually contains 5% sodium hypochlorite (with a pH of around 11. How is sodium hypochlorite applied in swimming pools? Sodium hypochlorite is applied in swimming pools for water disinfection and oxidation. storage and use of sodium hypochlorite. Hypochlorite neutralizes sulphur hydrogen gas (SH) and ammonia (NH 3).1 (5. Chlorine evaporates at a rate of 0. It has the advantage that microorganisms cannot build up any resistance to it. the so-called 'active chlorine' is formed. Less harmful gasses are produced when sulfuric acid is used. When this is done. two substances form. pharmaceutical industries.Sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl-) ions are produced. It is sometimes added to industrial waste water. Sodium hypochlorite is effective against bacteria.

because that will cause it to disintegrate. these problems are prevented by water purification and ventilation. Various health effects occur after exposure to sodium hypochlorite. the required concentration of sodium hypochlorite depends on the concentrations of these pollutions. safety measures have to be taken to protect workers and the environment. The maintenance and purchase of the electrolysis system is much more expensive than sodium hypochlorite. People are exposed to sodium hypochlorite by inhalation of aerosols. It is mutagenic and very toxic when it comes in contact with ammonium salts. a burning sensation. Because sodium hypochlorite is used both to oxidize pollutions (urine. What are the advantages and disadvantages of sodium hypochlorite use? Advantages Sodium hypochlorite as a disinfectant has the following advantages: It can easily and be stored and transported when it is produced on-site. acetic or sulphuric acid are added to the water. Transport and storage of sodium hypochlorite are safe. After swallowing sodium hypochlorite the effects are stomach ache. Sodium hypochlorite should not come in contact with air. Especially the amount of organic pollution determines the required concentration. diarrhea. If the dosage is too low. less sodium hypochlorite is needed.→ H2 + 20H2H20 → O2 + 4H++ 4eSubsequently. What is the legislation for sodium hypochlorite? The regulation for sodium hypochlorite is the same as the regulation considering chlorine. hypochlorous acid and ureum react to form chloramines. What are the health effects of sodium hypochlorite? Exposure There is no threshold value for to sodium hypochlorite exposure. When sodium hypochlorite is used. Disadvantages Sodium hypochlorite is a dangerous and corrosive substance. it sometimes causes red eyes and it gives off a typical chlorine odor. coughing. Sodium hypochlorite is as effective as chlorine gas for disinfection. This causes coughing and a sore throat. which causes damage to air tracts. Dosage is simple.+ Cl2 → HOCl + ClThe advantage of the salt electrolysis system is that no transport or storage of sodium hypochlorite is required. Both sodium hypochlorite and chlorine do not deactivate Giardia Lambia and Cryptosporidium. Sodium hypochlorite produces residual disinfectant. If the water is filtered before sodium hypochlorite is applied.→ Cl2 + 2e. When there is a lot of ureum (a mixture of urine and sweat) present. Sodium hypochlorite is poisonous for water organisms. Another advantage of the on site process is that chlorine lowers the pH and no other acid is required to lower pH. Eyes irritation disappears after a while. These chloramines irritate mucous membranes and cause the so-called ' chlorine smell'. The hydrogen gas that is produced is explosive and as a result ventilation is required for expolsion prevention. While working with sodium hypochlorite. Discharge demands 220613 / mmbrelvi . Sodium hypochlorite on skin or eyes causes redness and pain. the skin can become sensitive. When sodium hypochlorite is used in swimming pools. Sodium hypochlorite in swimming pools The concentration of sodium hypochlorite that is found in swimming pools is generally not harmful to people. a sore throat and vomiting. When there is too much chlorine in the water.Page 3 of 14 2Cl. cosmetics) and to remove pathogenic microorganisms. it becomes inactive. the eyes and the skin. chlorine and hydroxide react to form hypochlorite: OH. An overdose can produce poisonous gasses. the pH becomes to high and can irritate the eyes. the stomach and the intestines. This system is slow and a buffer of extra hypochlorous acid needs to be used. When sodium hypochlorite is stored for a long time. After prolonged exposure. sweat. In most swimming pools.2H2O + 2e. this burns the body tissues.

and must be discharged into the same water body after it has been used. 220613 / mmbrelvi . This can cause fish mortality and a decrease in water biodiversity. which originates largely from swimmers. Drinking water disinfection has decreased the number of outbreaks of waterborne diseases. In these countries waterborne diseases cause many people to be ill or to die. To increase drinking water safety disinfection is applied as a final treatement step. To prevent contagion of swimmers by pathogenic microorganisms. elderly people and people with a weakened immune system (AIDS patients and organ transplant receivers). compared to the number of people that use treated water In developing countries there is usually not enough clean drinking water or sewerage. because warm water has a low oxygen content. The larger part of pathogenic microorganisms is removed by means of water treatment techniques. bromine. Examples of disinfectants are chlorine containing substances. flocculation. Water disinfection is a very important factor for these applications. Cooling towers are used to cool down process water. because this promotes corrosion and blocks the system. such as coagulation. All disinfectants have benefits and drawbacks and can be used for water disinfection depending on the circumstances. disinfection may also be applied in swimming pools and cooling towers. Within cooling towers circumstances are ideal for growth and multiplication of microorganisms. Before the water is returned to the swimming pool it is purified. settling and filtration. which either kill or deactivate pathogenic microorganisms.Page 4 of 14 When cooling tower water is tapped from a river or lake. peroxide. Besides drinking water disinfection. such as cholera and typhoid (figure 1). The contamination contains microorganisms. Swimming pools contain a large variety of contamination. it must meet certain discharge demands. mainly fragile groups such as young children. There are several different disinfectants. Figure 1: decrease in the number of deaths as a result of typhoid in the USA (1900-1920). Swimming pool water is often circulated. silver-copper. Introduction water disinfection Water disinfection Water purification has largely developed in the past century. swimming water must be disinfected. Additionally. which promotes algal growth. United States Discharge demands for cooling tower water in the USA are mentioned in the Clean Water Act (CWA) and are established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). among other things. Biofilm development is a mayor problem in cooling towers. the water temperature may not be too high. After that the water can be reused. ozone and UV. The purification includes disinfection.

The kind of treatment water needs. or will stay behind in the ground layer. To meet the standards water is purified before it is discharged. Necessity of water treatment Composition of water When we open the tap. The water may not contain an odour or flavour. In the 1970’s it was discovered that industrial discharges and waste water discharges were the cause of water contamination. clean tasty water flows out. Water that settles into the ground and becomes groundwater often contains large amounts of dissolved minerals. killing or deactivating microorganismss in water. Contaminants are broken down. When this was discovered research started on the development and health effects of these byproducts.Page 5 of 14 Another problem in cooling towers. These bacteria spread through aerosols and can cause legionnaires disease. Contaminants are removed from water during biological processes. Water that falls to earth during rain showers dissolves substances. When surface water flows on earth it also dissolves several different substances. Many countries now have legal standards. Self-cleansing capacity of water Water has the capacity to cleanse itself. strongly depends upon the composition and quality of the water. river water 220613 / mmbrelvi . which can be found in air. Methods to lower the concentration of disinfection byproducts in drinking water have also been researched. is the development of legionella bacteria. Water that is used for drinking water production contains water molecules and a large variety of other substances. Human activities. One of the properties of water is that it easily dissolves other susbtances. The self-cleansing capacity of water is not strong enough to produce clean drinking water. and it should be bright and chemically stable (non-corrosive). mainly minerals and organic matter and chemical disinfection. particles and gasses such as oxygen. as a result of contact with soils and rocks. determining that the development of legionella bacteria in cooling towers should be prevented by the disinfection of cooling water. This is a consequence of the quantity and variety of industrial and agricultural contaminants that have entered surface and groundwater for many decades. Immediately after this discovery measures were taken to prevent water pollution. History of drinking water treatment History of drinking water treatment Humans have been storing and distributing water for centuries. groundlayers will cause filtration to occur. Today there are legal standards indicating maximum levels of disinfection byproducts in drinking water. Waste water must meet legal standard before it can be discharged. Before. bacteriological and chemical area. During water purification waste water is treated to become drinking water which meets legal standards in the physical. When water settles onto the ground. organic matter. microorganismss and minerals. such as agriculture and industrial waste and sewer water discharge cause a number of pollutants to enter the water. In the early seventies it was discovered that disinfection byproducts can form during water disinfection by means of chemical disinfectants. Water treatment contains two process steps: physical removal of solid particles. This is a very serious disease that resembles pneumonia. as well as ventilation systems. such as sand particles. Contaminants that are present in air also dissolve in rain water. when people lived as hunters/ collectors. Despite of these measures water often still needs treatment before it is suitable for use as drinking water. Water undergoes several purification steps before it flows from taps.

. wood and even metal. About 7000 years ago. Pakistan The Romans were the greatest architects and constuctors of water distribution networks in history. The Greek where among the first to gain an interest in water quality. The first drinking water supply that supplied an entire city was built in Paisley. Eventually one started using clay. Later on one also started using hollow tubes. They used river. figure 1) stored water in wells that were used as sources. Because of a fast increase in urban population. along with the rainwater. People that drank this water fell ill and often died. Soon. where rivers where unpolluted. In ancient Greece spring water. circumstances became highly unhygenic. The transport took place through simple channels. well water. This water was carried to the city by so-called water-bearers. Plumming in the city was made of concrete. the aquaducts were no longer used. Jericho (Israël. silver. In this city there were public bathing facilities with water boiler installations and bathrooms. Drinking water needed to be extracted from a different source. People also started to develop drinking water transport systems. Scotland in 1804 by John Gibb.D. Around 3000 B. Greece was forced to store water in wells and transport it to the people through a distribution network. people used groundwater for drinking water purposes. In the Middle Ages countless cities were manifested. the city of Mohenjo-Daro (Pakistan) used a very extensive water supply. The lake water was aerated and than supplied. When valleys were reached. causing lakes to form. The Romans built dams in rivers. Mountain water was the most popular type of water. Water winnings were protected from foreign pollutants.C. there was little development in the water treatment area. The water went through holes in rocks into the wells on the plains. in order to 220613 / mmbrelvi . From 500 to 1500 A. because waste and excrements were discharged into the water. Through these aquaducts water was transported for tens of miles. This was pumped up through wells. rock. and rainwater were used very early on. For water transport the aquaducts where built. In these cities wooden plumming was used. Egypt used hollow palm trees and China and Japan used bamboo strunks.Page 6 of 14 was applied for drinking water purposes. Figure 1: bathing residence in Mohenjo-Daro. When there were no rivers or lakes in an area. When people permanently stayed in one place for a long period of time. When the human population started growing extensively. The water was extracted from rivers or wells. this was usually near a river or lake. bronze. the water supply was no longer sufficient. To solve the problem people started drinking water from outside the city. spring or groundwater for provisioning. They used aeration basins for water purification. wood or lead. the water was lead through hills under pressure. or from outside the city. The water that was used was carried away through sewers. In Perzia people searched for underground rivers and lakes. because of its quality. dug in the sand or in rocks. Figure 2: a Roman aquaduct After the fall of the Roman empire.

both ha Media Disinfection can be attained by means of physical or chemical disinfectants. during the sterilization process all present microorganisms are killed.Page 7 of 14 supply his bleachery and the entire city with water. 220613 / mmbrelvi . For chemical disinfection of water the following disinfectants can be used: . protop microorganisms to no longer be able to multiply. As an extra measure many countries apply a second disinfect contamination in the water distribution system. In 1806 Paris operated a large water treatment plant. Sterilization is a process related to disinfection. Disinfectants must also have a residual effect.Fenols . However.Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) .Ozone (O3) . filtration) cause (drinking) water to be safe after production. the Englishman James Simpson built a sand filter for drinking water purification.Chlorine (Cl2) . before it was filtered.Heat How does disinfection work? Chemical inactivation of microbiological contamination in natural or untreated water is usually one of the final steps to reduce pathogen disinfection. which means that they remain active in the water after disinfection.Gamma rays . Oxidizing disinfectants also demolish or Necessity of drinking water disinfection The larger part of pathogenic microorganisms is removed from water during the primairy water purification steps.Hypo chlorite (OCl-) . filtered water was transported to Glasgow. A disinfectant shoul recontaminated.Bromine chloride (BrCl) .Ultraviolet light (UV) . The water settled for 12 hours.Hydrogen peroxide . What is water disinfection? Water disinfection What is water disinfection? Water disinfection means the removal. iodene (I) . Microorganisms are destroyed or deactivat water.Metals: copper (Cu2+). silver (Ag+) . or changes in cell permeability. deactivation or killing of pathogenic microorganisms. we still call this the number one tribute to public health. The agents also remove organic contaminants from water.Electronic radiation . dur during distribution.Kwartair ammonium salts .Halogens: bromine (Br2).Alcohols .Soaps and detergents . Bacteria can remain in the water after the first disinfection step or can end up in the water during backflushing of c Disinfection mechanism Disinfection commonly takes place because of cell wall corrosion in the cells of microorganisms.Sounds . Filters consisted of sand and charcoal and where replaced every six hours.Kaliumpermanganate (KMnO4) . Usually one uses a different kind of disinfectant from the one earlier in the process. In 1827.Several acids and bases For physical disinfection of water the following disinfectants can be used: . However. Today. Within three years. drinking water usage will cause people to fall ill. This will cause the microorganisms to die out.

but instead take over the metabolism of the host cell and make sure the DNA is copied in the host cell.4 and 14 μm in length and about 0. food and water. bundles or pairs. Bacteria are the most abundant lifeform on earth. They are shaped like a spear. viruses and parasitic protozoa. causing a bacteria to split into two independent cells. They can reproduce by means of DNA replication. But there are also microorganisms which can cause disease or which are harmful to people with low resistance to disease. other people can be infected with viruses. we are free from microorganisms. they are inactive. As cysts the pathogens are resistant to chlorine disinfection. Figure 1: three different types of viruses Parasitic protozoa Parasitic protozoa are single-cell organisms. They are living organisms. Some bacteria breack down organic matter and play an important ecological role.02 and 0. This dose is 220613 / mmbrelvi . They can excist as individual bacteria or in bacterial chains. Some types of bacteria can form spores. They are between 0. Through consumption of food and air we are exposed to microorganisms soon after we are born. They cannot reproduce. Bacteria feed on fluid nutrients. Invisible to bare eyes. viruses are not naturally present in the human body. protected form as a cyste or oocyste. Types of pathogenic microorganisms Pathogenic microorganisms in drinking water can be divided up into three types: bacteria. Consequentially they can only be viewed under a microscope. the way in which it is transferred. Contrary to bacteria and parasitic protozoa. Oocysts of Cryptosporidium and cysts of Giardia can be found in waters throughout the world as a consequence of fecal pollution. but they will coagulte or attach to colloids and solids in water. They have a very complex metabolism and feed on solid nutrients. the infective dose and persistence of the microorganism. When secreation takes place water can be contaminated with viruses. When viruses excist outside host cells. The infective dose means the number of microorganisms that need to enter te body before the disease occurs. microorganisms are present in soils. whereass parasitic protozoa can be found mainly in surface water. In ideal circumstances this process taken about 15 to 30 minutes. and the resistance of the person that is infected. spiral or rod. When people are infected with a virus it usually leaves the body through secretion. Multiplication take place through splitting of the cells.09 μm) that they can slip through filters which capture bacteria. sphere or wire and they are so small (between 0. causing new viruses to develop. Before humans are born. such as the metabolism. These spores contain a protective layer which is heat resistant and can protect bacteria from a lack of moist and food. such as humans and animals. Contrary to bacteria. Parasitic protozoa can be removed by means of filtration or chlorine dioxideapplication. Various types of parasitic protozoa are spread in sleeping.Page 8 of 14 water disinfection is still necessary in order to prevent drinking water from being harmful to our health.2 to 12 μm in width. They are not dissolved in water. algae and bacteria which are present in multiple-cell organisms. viruses contain only one type of nucleic acid (RNA or DNA). Microorganisms Microorganisms can be found commonly in nature. Bacteria and viruses can excist in both surface water and groundwater. shaped like a sphere. Viruses Viruses are organisms which can cause infections and which only reproduce in living host cells. other assist in the human metabolism. When the water is not thoroughly disinfected. Viruses contain a protective shell. air. The odds of infection The odds of infection depend upon the type of pathogen. Most microorganisms are harmless and will contribute to a number of vital processes in the human body. Bacteria play a role in various processes. Pathogenic microorganisms in the water have a number of specific properties which distinguish them from chemical contaminants. Bacteria Bacteria are single-cell organisms. The microorganisms will remain present on and in our bodies.

causing the microorganisms to contaminate water. When a person is infected the pathogens multiply within the host. lakes and oceans. Legionella (figure 5) can be found commonly in water and easily multiplies in the water distribution system. elderly people and sick people have a lower resistance to disease and are therefor more fragile. Coli bacteria One drop of feaces contains millions of microorganisms. pathogenic microorganisms can contaminate surface water and groundwater sources. Figure 3: Cryptosporidium spores Figure 4: Giardia cysts Sewer or waste water cannot be discharged into the environment untreated. Coli bacteria ( figure 2). Secretion and sewer water When water flows through a certain area. Figure 5: Legionella bacteria History of water disinfection 220613 / mmbrelvi . Bacteria are commonly the least persistent microorganisms. Not every person that is infected with a pathogen falls ill. when it is not present in a human host. In the faeces of cattle there can be millions of E. causing the risk of illness to rise.Page 9 of 14 very low for viruses and parasitic protozoa. causing untreated water to end up in surface water or groundwater. Microorganisms also enter the water. this is a particular risk when drinking water is not treated at all. Giardia cysts (figure 3) and Cryptosprodium spores (figure 4). There are also other pathogenic microorganisms that can be found commonly in surface water. The larger part of purified waste water ends up in rivers. When fertilizers are applied to land. Figure 2: E. Mainly developing countries lack sanitary facilities. When septic tanks are used for waste water treatment. mainly through secretion. Young children. and protozoic cysts are the most persistent ones. Sometimes heavy rainfall can cause sewer systems to flood. People that do become ill will spread a disease easily. The larger part of microorganisms which cause waterborne diseases originate from human or animal feaces. it collects all kinds of substances and gives these off in other areas. The persistence of a microorganism depends upon the viable time of the microorganism. The water can contaminate water that is used for drinking water purposes. Not every country purifies water before it enters surface or groundwater. rain can cause bacteria to rinse out te surface water or groundwater. In chicken faeces pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter can be present. Not all pathogenic microorganisms in water originate from faeces. causing the risk of infection with diseases carried by waterbone microorganisms to become very high.

state that water must be exposed to sunlight and filtered with charcoal and that impure water must be purified by boiling the water and than dipping a piece of copper in the water seven times. Figure 1: John Snow Figure 2: contaminated water pump spreads cholera For the past centuries humans have suffered from diseases such as cholera and the plague. To realize water purification copper. His discovery of microorganisms was considered a curiosity. The first multiple filter was developed in 1685 by the Italian physician Lu Antonio Porzo. John Snow.Page 10 of 14 History of drinking water disinfection The link between water quality and health has been known since the early ages. The filters consisted of wool. sponges and charcoal. People are introduced to these microorganisms through contaminated drinking water. Often. It was said that the diseases were a devine punishment or were caused by impure air or the alignment of the planets. The filter consisted of a settling unit and a sandfiltration unit. Two basic rules dating back to 2000 B. viruses and protozoan parasites are among the most common and widespread health risk of drinking water. aerosols and washing or bathing. Some waterborne pathogenic microorganisms spread by water can cause severe. an English doctor ( figure 1). Clear water was considered clean water. Waterborne diseases Contagion by pathogenic microorganisms Infectious diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria. are vulnerable to these diseases as well. life-threatening diseases. diarrhoea is the main symptom (figure 1). mainly elderly people and young children. However. Disinfection has been applied for centuries. cholera and Hepatitis A or E. which was applied in households by 1750. In 1680 Anthony van Leeuwenhoek developed the microscope. Other microorganisms induce less dangerous diseases. In 1854 a cholera epidemic caused many deaths in the city of Londen. 220613 / mmbrelvi . existence and identification of microorganisms and the removal of microorganisms from drinking water. was discovered. Swamp areas were associated with fever. discovered that the cholera epidemic was caused by a contaminated water pump ( figure 2). He prevented a spread of the epidemic by closing down the contaminated water pump. In 1746 the French scientist Joseph Amy received the first patent for a filter design.C. The origin of these diseases was misinterpreted. silver and electrolysis were applied. Examples aretyphoid fever. Since 1900 disinfectants are largely applied by drinking water companies to prevent the distribution of diseases and to improve water quality. before filtering the water. In the nineteenth century the effect of disinfectants. After that scientists have performed bacteriological studies to research the development. the mechanism has been known for only one hundred years. People with low resistance. Disinfection has been applied for several decades. water drops. Descriptions of ancient civilisations were found about boiling water and water storage in silver jugs. such as chlorine. It took scientists another two hundred years before they started using the microscope to distinguish microorganisms and other pathogens.

They become even more susceptible to diseases. contagion is prevented by drinking water purification and by hygienic measurements. Sometimes it is difficult to demonstrate the source of a water related disease. as a result. No acces to clean drinking water Worlwide. are more susceptive to other infections. This has several causes. Diseases are easily spread because water treatment and sewage no longer function or are lacking completely. Their physical capacity decreases and they cannot work and provide their families with money and food. even further. Every year. especially children. Both swimming in contaminated water and the microbiological or chemical quality of drinking water can cause illness. Diarrhoea is an important symptom of many waterborne diseases. Developing countries In developing countries. Many people weaken because of waterborne disease and. Children run behind at school.Page 11 of 14 Figure 1. waterborne diseases are a major problem which contributes to the vicious circle that people are in. Waterborne diseases frustrate the economic development of many people.4 billion people lack sanitation. During wars and natural disasters (floods) many people are infected with waterborne diseases. A lack of sufficient nutritional food weakens people. 220613 / mmbrelvi . people can fall ill from waterborne diseases. Occurence of waterborne diseases It is im possible to represent the number of waterborne microbiological infections (figure 2). Diseases are misdiagnosed or not reported. In many developing countries. waste and sewage water treatment and education on personal and food hygiene. water contamination and spread of infectious diseases must be handled. Developed countries Most waterborne diseases occur worldwide. The appearance of HIV in developing countries makes more people susceptive to infectious diseases. This is caused by using insufficiently disinfected water.2 billion people do not have access to clean and safe drinking water. Vaccination is usually very scarce as well. sewage. by implementing non-hygienic food preparation and by insufficient personal hygiene. But even in developed countries. because they cannot be educated when they are ill. 5 million people die of waterborne diseases. In developed (western) countries. and 2. 1. This is achieved through (drinking) water treatment. To improve the economical progress of developing countries. there is a lack of medicine to treat ill people.

000 people fell ill from using drinking water that was contaminated by Cryptosporidium cysts.Page 12 of 14 Figure 2: the number of waterborne diseases in the United States from 1971 to 1992 Disinfection remains important Groundwater usually has a good microbiological quality. 400. particles of organic matter and other microorganisms.300 people fell ill in Walkerton. CT = disinfectant concentration x contact time = C mg/L x T minutes When a particular disinfectant is added to water. The disinfection demand must first be satisfied. 2. before a residual disinfectant concentration can be established. The utilization of a disinfectant for reactions with these substances make up the disinfection demand of the water. Pathogenic microorganisms can also emerge because they built up resistance to disinfectants. New waterborne diseases Infection routes change throughout the years. Once there is a residual disinfectant concentration. C refers to the final residual concentration of a particular chemical disinfectant in mg/L. T refers to the minimum contact time (minutes) of material that is disinfected with the disinfectant. it does not only react with pathogenic microorganisms. microorganisms and other particles are removed when the water seeps down. because of E. one has to watch out for outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Therefore. because of agricultural magnification. Sufficient disinfection is needed to prevent diseases. Afterwards. Water that is used for drinking water purposes can be prepared from surface water. coli O157:H7. increased migration and climate change. but also with other impurities. USA. Groundwater can be contaminated by sewage water or waste water pollutions. To adequately disinfect the water it is therefore required to supply the water with a higher disinfectant concentration than the concentration required to kill pathogenic 220613 / mmbrelvi . In the future more pathogenic microorganisms will emerge and spread through water. the water still needs treatment. Heliobacter bacteria. The disinfectant concentration that has to be added to water is made up by the sum of the disinfection demand and the residual disinfectant concentration. Even when water treatment is applied. increased population growth. Canada. this residual concentration has to be maintained during the required contact time to kill pathogenic microorganisms. Other pathogenic microorganisms that can be found in drinking water are caliciviruses. groundwater or recycled water. such as soluble metals. For example: in 1993 in Milwaukee. because not all pollutions can be removed biologically. CT is used to calculate how much disinfectant is required to adequately disinfect water. In the last twenty years a number of pathogenic diseases have appeared. the units of CT are expressed in mg-min/L. even in developed countries. Mycobacteria and Giardia Lambia. In the year 2000. This water can be contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms and other pollutants. Factors that influence water disinfection CT: This stands for the contact time between disinfectant and microorganism and the concentration of disinfectant. Those ground layers function as a natural filter. because it is prefiltered through various ground layers. that cannot be prevented by traditional water treatment.

coli bacteria Polio virus Giardia lambia cyst The type of microorganism Disinfectants can effectively kill pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria. The circumstances will than be suitable for disinfection. The age of the microorganism The affectivity of a particular disinfectant also depends upon the age of the microorganism. Moreover. There is a difference between the relative affectivity of chemical disinfectants against different microorganisms. CT can be used to compare the affectivity of various disinfectants against microorganisms (table 1). Laboratory tests are conducted. viruses and parasites). Chemical substances that are present in water through human or 220613 / mmbrelvi .2 0. The CT value of chlorine used against Giardia Lambia is a lot higher than that of chlorine used against E. because these may react with disinfectants to disinfection byproducts and because they are a substrate for microorganisms. Materials in the water. Usually a dose of 12-20 mg/L chlorine is required to result in a free chlorine residual concentration of 6-8 mg/L. are more resistant to disinfectants than other bacteria and are therefore used as indicator organisms. Chlorine is effective against E.1 . the CT value of ozone is very low.0. The time required to deactivate a particular microorganism decreases when the applied disinfectant concentration (mg/L) is increased.3740 Chlorine dioxide (pH 6-7) 0. contact time is sufficient.6. Chloramines are least effective en cannot be used against Giardia Lambia.7 Ozone (pH 6-7) 0. The absence of E. When 2. Some microorganisms can be resistant. Young bacteria are easier to kill than older bacteria. for example 99%.0.05 1.150 Chloramines (pH 8-9) 95 . ozone is the most effective disinfectant.034 . When bacteria grow older. Most disinfectants are not effective against bacterial spores. because the larger part of pathogenic microorganisms present in the water will be removed during primairy water purification steps.0 mg/L chlorine is used. Often a certain level is added to the CT. Coli bacteria and Polio virus. Water that requires treatment The nature of the water that requires treatment has its influence on the disinfection. preferably below 1 mg/L. Turbidity of the water also reduces the affectivity of disinfection. for example.02 0. for example iron. According to table 1.75 0. A proper disinfection can only take place when water is already purified to a certain extent.0.2 . coli bacteria and Polio virus. For bacteria of the same species and of the age of 1 day 1 minute. coli bacteria does not mean that the water is safe. Increasing temperatures can also decrease disinfection. Protozoan parasites like Cryptosporidium and Giardia are very resistant to chlorine.180 770 .4 . Dissolved and floating particles must be removed from water. Comparison of CT values for the 99% inactivaton of microorganisms at 5 °C Free chlorine (pH 6-7) 0. which disturbs disinfection. Temperature The temperature also influences the affectivity of disinfection. The CT is commonly used to determine the affectivity of a particular disinfectant against a certain microorganism under specified conditions. hydrogen sulphide and nitrates often react with disinfectants. This means that 99% of the microorganisms are deactivated by the disinfectant.2. to find out which contact time is most effective.5 47 . Bacterial spores can be very resistant. coli bacteria. they develop a polysaccharide shell over their cell wall. Table 1. Conditions for water disinfection Conditions for water disinfection Drinking water disinfection is linked to other water purification steps. because the disinfectant falls apart or is volatized. manganese. coli. Increasing temperatures usually increases the speed of reactions and of disinfection.Page 13 of 14 microorganisms. the required contact time to deactivate bacteria that are 10 days old is 30 minutes.1 . Several viruses are even more resistant than E.6 Organism E.5 . The concentrations of floating particles in water must be low when disinfection is apllied. microorganisms are harder to remove from water when adsorption to floating particles in water takes place.0. which makes them more resistant to disinfectants. Microorganisms are protected against disinfection by turbidity. E.

com/index. Surface water is used for the production of drinking water.htm 220613 / mmbrelvi . This causes the concentration of disinfectants needed to properly remove microorganisms to be much higher. The substances react with disinfectants to disinfection byproducts. This negatively influences the environment. waste water is purified.Page 14 of 14 natural causes may also influence disinfection. It is also harder to maintain a residual concentration. Surface water can be used to produce drinking water http://www. This is often neglected.lenntech. mainly surface water quality. The purification process includes a disinfection step. Adequate waste water treatment can make the disinfection of drinking water more efficient. To enhance waste water quality. When waste water treatment is insufficient. water that is polluted with all kinds of pathogenic microorganisms and chemical pollutants will end up in the environment.

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