Potable aqua drinking water purification tablets (C) Daniel FriedmanUse of Ozone for drinking water disinfection

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Ozone water treatment for disinfection or purification:

This article describes the use of ozone or ozonization to remove contaminants from drinking water or from septic effluent discharge. We include recent research citing interesting findings including the apparent ability of ozone treatment of water to remove trace levels of pesticides, endocrine disruptors & other chemicals.

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Is Ozone for Drinking Water Disinfection an Effective Method?

William Glaze (1987) discussed the combination of use of ozone with other methods for water disinfection and in a separate article (Glaze 1987) also reviewed the chemistry of drinking water treatment or wastewater treatment using ozone as well as hydrogen peroxide and UV light, comparing these systems. The authors summarized the history of use of ozone for water treatment:

Ozone came into use as a drinking-water disinfectant as early as 1906 at the Bon Voyage plant in Nice, France; since then more than 1000 facilities throughout Europe have adopted the practice. Some use ozone as the primary or sole disinfectant; others use it as an oxidant for the contrl of flora, odor, and color and to reuce the manganese and iron content of drinking water. Lately [1986] engineers at European water plants are finding that preozonation enhances the flocculation of suspended particles in surface waters, and its use for this purpose is expanding.

[By1986] ... the use of ozone in North America, however, [had] only recently begun to gain acceptance. According to Rice, the number of ozonation plants in the United States [had] increased from five in 1977 to 20 in 1984. During the same period, the number of plants in Canada increased from 23 to nearly 50. - Glaze (1987)

By 1998, ten years later ozone water treatment was widely discussed, and we find Camel reviewing additional treatment steps that can be required:

... In fact, oxidants may be added at several points throughout the treatment: pre-oxidation, intermediate oxidation or final disinfection. So, the numerous effects of chemical oxidation are discussed along the water treatment: removal of inorganic species, aid to the coagulation-floculation process, degradation of organic matter and disinfection.

Of prime importance in potable water production is the removal of organic matter (natural humic substances, as well as micropollutants, especially pesticides) to avoid degradation of the distributed water (mainly bad odors and tastes; formation of disinfection by-products such as trihalomethanes; microbial regrowth in the distribution system).

... As a matter of fact, complete mineralization hardly occurs during the process; as a consequence, further treatment (i.e. sand or granular activated carbon filtration) is required to improve the distributed water quality, and to meet the drinking water regulations.

In noting the effectiveness of ozone for drinking water purification, Lazarova (1999) pointed out that there was considerable variation in the effectiveness of the more traditional use of chlorination as a water disinfectant depending on the beginning water quality:

Chlorination/dechlorination and advanced disinfection processes (UV irradiation, ozonation, membrane filtration) have been reviewed in terms of their efficiency, regrowth potential, design parameters, experimental set-up, scale-up and industrial experiences. Existing results show the great influence of water quality, in particular of suspended matter concentration and organic content.

... The critical analysis of the literature data and experimental results highlights UV irradiation as an effective and competitive advanced disinfection process.

Ozonation is a viable solution in case of higher requirements for water quality including virus and protozoa removal.

Ultrafiltration is a highly efficient process producing an excellent quality and totally disinfected effluent, particularly recommended for groundwater recharge and potable wastewater reuse.

The choice between these advanced disinfection technologies depends on wastewater quality, existing standards, specific reuse applications and wastewater treatment work capacity. - Lazarova (1999)

Kasprzyk-Hordern (2003) explained catalytic ozonation as a "new means of contaminants removal" in the laboratory with implications for more general water treatment:

This paper presents a review of catalytic ozonation and methods of enhancing molecular ozone reactions in water treatment. It is also an attempt to propose general ideas about mechanisms governing catalytic ozone reactions.

Catalytic ozonation is a new means of contaminants removal from drinking water and wastewater. Its application is mainly limited to laboratory use. However, due to successful results further investigation is to be carried out. The majority of models proposed represent more of a speculative approach to the problem than a hypothesis based on experimental data.

It is therefore useful to provide a summary of the accomplishments concerning catalytic ozonation and methods of enhancing molecular ozone reactions that were published so far. A survey of the application of several homo- and heterogeneous catalysts, their activity and the parameters influencing the efficiency of catalytic systems is presented here as a short overview, the aim of which is to raise awareness of possible new approaches to water purification. - Kasprzyk-Hordern (2003)

Ozone Treatment of Drinking Water to Remove Trace Levels of Chemical Contaminants

An important difference between ozone treatment of drinking water and possibly wastewater and the use of chlorination in those applications is the possibility that the oxidizing effects of ozone in water may improve the removal of chemical contaminants, not just biological ones. Robeck (1967) discussed the removal of pesticides from water using ozone treatments, and more recently, Broséus (2009) explains efforts to remove trace levels of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals from water:

This study investigates the oxidation of pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupting compounds and pesticides during ozonation applied in drinking water treatment. In the first step, second-order rate constants for the reactions of selected compounds with molecular ozone (kO3)(kO3) were determined in bench-scale experiments at pH 8.10: caffeine (650 ± 22 M−1 s−1), progesterone (601 ± 9 M−1 s−1), medroxyprogesterone (558 ± 9 M−1 s−1), norethindrone (2215 ± 76 M−1 s−1) and levonorgestrel (1427 ± 62 M−1 s−1).

Compared to phenolic estrogens (estrone, 17β-estradiol, estriol and 17α-ethinylestradiol), the selected progestogen endocrine disruptors reacted far slower with ozone. In the second part of the study, bench-scale experiments were conducted with surface waters spiked with 16 target compounds to assess their oxidative removal using ozone and determine if bench-scale results would accurately predict full-scale removal data.

Overall, the data provided evidence that ozone is effective for removing trace organic contaminants from water with ozone doses typically applied in drinking water treatment. Ozonation removed over 80% of caffeine, pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors within the CT value of about 2 mg min L−1. As expected, pesticides were found to be the most recalcitrant compounds to oxidize. Caffeine can be used as an indicator compound to gauge the efficacy of ozone treatment.

WELL DISINFECTANT pH ADJUSTMENT may also be necessary for effective water disinfection.

Ozone Water Treatment Effectiveness Research


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