A recently discovered byproduct of chloramine disinfection
- iodoacetic acid - is the most toxic ever found, according
to researchers at the University of Illinois in the USA .
The findings have serious implications for operators of water
treatment facilities looking to adopt chlorine alternatives.
There are currently three chemical alternatives to chlorine
disinfection - ozone, chlorine dioxide and chloramines (a
combination of chlorine and ammonia). All react to compounds
in drinking water - resulting in various byproducts.
Four-lamp MP chamber
|A fourth, non-chemical, alternative is UV
disinfection. UV is extremely efficient at killing all
water-borne pathogens - including Cryptosporidium and
Giardia and their spores. While small amounts of chlorine
(0.1-0.2 mg/litre) are usually used for residual, downstream
disinfection, the level can be kept to an absolute minimum.
Following the University of Illinois study, Hanovia has received
many enquiries about the use of UV as an alternative to chlorination.
UV is already a popular method of water treatment with operators
of water and wastewater facilities throughout the world.
UV disinfection systems are compact and can usually be installed
within existing pipework with minimal disruption or down-time.
Operation and maintenance is simple and can easily be carried
out by on-site staff. Reduced chlorine usage, also results
in significant cost savings for plant operators - as well
as cutting down on chemical handling.
 Plewa, M. J. et al, (2004). Chemical
and Biological Characterization of Newly Discovered Iodoacid
Drinking Water Disinfection Byproducts. Environ. Sci. Technol.,
38 (18), 4713-4722).
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