University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. James P. Malley, Jr., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Applying MP UV Disinfection with Low Wavelength Monitoring to Achieve Sustainable Public Health Protection
Drinking water treatment is essential to obtain a healthy regulated source of water that can be distributed throughout a community. There are various methods to disinfect water but some have more negative effects toward public health than others. For example, disinfection with chlorination causes disinfection byproducts to be produced within treated drinking water. These disinfection byproducts are regulated by the Environmental Perfection Agency because in high concentrations[DL1] they have the potential to cause cancer. Ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection does not produce these disinfection byproducts which is why it is becoming a preferred method for water treatment. The issue that UV disinfection faces currently, is its equipment’s inability to register low wavelengths that have the potential to disinfect adenovirus which is required to receive 4-log credit inactivation from the Groundwater Rule. For this research, we will be working with new innovative low wavelength sensors that will register the low wavelength to see if they are disinfecting within that range. If we can prove that UV disinfection can register and disinfect with low wavelengths, then it can be approved for 4-log credit. UV systems can then optimize their disinfection while potentially lowering energy use. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the ability of low wavelength monitoring in UV treatment units that have the potential to reduce their energy use and total UV system costs while improving public health protection in small drinking water systems.