Print version ISSN 0122-7483
ROJAS-HIGUERA, Naydú et al. Evaluation of three methods for the inactivation of coliforms and Escherichia coli present in domestic wastewaters used in irrigation. Univ. Sci. [online]. 2010, vol.15, n.2, pp. 139-149. ISSN 0122-7483.
Objective. To evaluate three treatments (facultative stabilization ponds, heterogeneous photocatalysis with TiO2 and chemical disinfection with sodium hypochlorite) for the inactivation of coliforms and Escherichia coli presen in domestic wastewaters used in agricultural irrigation. Materials and methods. Wastewater was characterized by physical, chemical and microbiological analyses and was then exposed to a facultative pond treatment (FPT), post-photocatalytic treatment (PTFTiO2/UV) and post-chemical treatment (PTQNaClO) to assess the disinfecting capacity of each method in the inactivation of total coliforms and E. coli. Three new samples of wastewater were processed and used in irrigation tests on a laboratory-scale basis for 30 days, using Lactuca sativa cultivar. Batavia as a model plant and evaluating the initial and final concentrations of the two groups. Results. PTFTiO2/UV was significantly higher than FPT and PTQNaClO (p<0.0001), obtaining 100% of inactivation of coliforms and E. coli after 30 minutes of irradiation at a reactor scale. Regarding the irrigation tests with L. sativa, we showed that using water treated by PTFTiO2/UV there is no contamination with E. coli and coliforms after 30 days. On the contrary, plants irrigated with water treated by FPT and PTQNaClO showed an increase in the two populations originating a contamination problem in the vegetable by the end of the laboratory experiments. Conclusion. The heterogeneous photocatalysis with TiO2 was an effective method in the reduction of coliforms and E. coli present in domestic wastewater.
Keywords : heterogeneous photocatalysis; hygienic quality; Lactuca sativa.