Wastewater disinfectants: Many called - few chosen. The search for a more perfect disinfectant continues


Recent findings have shown that the indiscriminate chlorination of water and wastewater results in the formation of compounds which are toxic to aquatic life and potentially toxic to humans. In addition, the disinfection capability of wastewater chlorination is also being investigated with respect to pathogenic viruses removals. In view of these events, other disinfectants such as bromine, bromine chloride, chlorine dioxide, iodine, permanganate, silver, ultraviolet light, and especially ozone have been investigated as a substitute for chlorine disinfection. Some of the drawbacks associated with these substitutes include high cost, potential toxic side effects, inefficiency under turbid conditions, and lack of a disinfection residual. The following issues are reviewed: chlorine use; toxic effects of chlorine use; types of halogenated organics formed after chlorination; reduction of chlorine residuals; and, ozonation. Other promising disinfection alternatives consist of: ultraviolet irradiation; bromine chloride; and most recently, chlorine dioxide. These are briefly discussed.

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