Microbial Control

Can Chlorine Dioxide Control Biofilm In A Peroxide contaminated Wastewater?

By Greg D. Simpson, PhD


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Editor's note: This article reports on work by the author on applications suitable for the use of chlorine dioxide as a biocide treatment in industrial water systems. In particular, the author writes about an application in a manufacturing facility where chlorine dioxide was in place, but adjustments in the treatment approach were needed to show it could be successfully applied to treat wastewater in an industrial setting.

With fresh water supplies dwindling across the United States, efforts are underway to find ways to conserve and/or reuse water. This article describes the approach one facility took to reuse water. This facility built a wastewater treatment system that received a number of wastewater streams. Widely varying pH levels and volumes of the various streams resulted in the need for a wastewater treatment facility, the primary purpose of which was to adjust pH to the right range prior to discharge. After pH adjustment, one stream was reused in the facility. Contaminants in the wastewater promoted the growth of fungi and bacteria that produced biofilm, which plugged the many filters located around the facility.  

A number of different technologies were evaluated for microbiological control, including bleach, bromine, ozone, non-oxidizing biocides, peracetic acid, and chlorine dioxide (ClO2). None performed adequately under the existing conditions. After a review of prior work using other disinfectants, some field and laboratory work, an investigation of the literature and, some minor changes to the operation of the system were made that would allow ClO2 to be used effectively. Further optimization was done by varying the ClO2 injection points. 

This article describes the problem, the investigation as to why ClO2 did not work previously, the changes to the system that would allow effective use of ClO2, and the results of implementation of ClO2. While the article discusses data from a number of years ago, the author believes that the approach outlined in the article can be applied successfully at other facilities.


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