Abstract

Solar water disinfection (SODIS) is a process by which microbially contaminated water is disinfected by transmitting solar ultraviolet radiation to the water, rendering the bacteria inactive. The purpose of this project was to determine a residence time for disinfection in specific applications using a 3-log reduction in colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL). The water was contained in quartz tubes and tested over both flat and parabolic reflectors. While UVA and UVB radiation are diffuse and independent of reflector style, water temperature is affected by solar concentration. The two reflector styles were studied to identify how insolation level and temperature affects the bacteria inactivation process. Escherichia coli, DH5α, was inoculated into sterile water and treated for 2, 4, and 8 h. The study had several conclusions, first that a 5-log reduction was achieved after 2 h, for all water temperature and insolation levels. The reflector style did not have a measurable effect on inactivation due to the short disinfection time, but the water temperature increased significantly with the parabolic reflectors. A thermal model of the two systems confirmed that the parabolic configuration resulted in higher energy input, making it the preferred configuration for disinfection with lower residence times.

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