Disinfection efficiency of peracetic acid (PAA): inactivation of coliphages and bacterial indicators in a municipal wastewater plant.Environ Technol. 2007 Nov; 28(11):1265-71.ET
The aim of the study was to assess the efficiency of low doses of peracetic acid against viral and bacterial indicators in wastewater and to evaluate if the treatment allows regulatory requirements to be satisfied. A total of 31 samplings were carried out, each involving the collection of secondary effluent and of effluent disinfected with 1.2 or 1.5 mg l(-1) of peracetic acid (contact time 20 minutes). In each sample were measured: somatic coliphages, F-specific RNA bacteriophages, Escherichia coli, total and faecal coliforms, enterococci. Peracetic acid disinfection showed significant differences between the reductions of the microorganisms tested: E. coli showed the highest reduction (1.78 and 2.43 Log respectively with 1.2 and 1.5 mg l(-1) of peracetic acid) and phages the lowest (ranging between 0.52 and 0.60 Log). Only a concentration of 1.5 mg l(-1) of peracetic acid would enable the effluent to be discharged into surface waters in compliance with Italian regulations. The variability of microbial resistance against the peracetic acid disinfection treatment, underlines the importance of assessing disinfection efficiency by using more than one indicator microorganism. The detection of E. coli could be usefully accompanied by tests for more resistant microorganisms such as enterococci or coliphages. In conclusion, peracetic acid can be used for the disinfection of effluents even at low doses, with the advantage of reducing costs and preventing the formation of significant amounts of genotoxic by-products.