The aim of the present study was to evaluate the fungicidal activity of chlorine and peracetic acid in drinking water against various pathogenic Aspergillus spp. and Candida albicans strains. A. nidulans exhibited the greatest resistance, requiring 10 ppm of chlorine for 30 min contact time for a complete inactivation. Under the same experimental conditions, peracetic acid was even less fungicidal. In this case, A. niger proved to be the most resistant species (50 ppm for 60 min for complete inactivation). All Aspergillus spp. were insensitive to 10 ppm even with extended exposure (>5 h). The combination of chlorine and peracetic acid against Aspergillus spp. did not show synergistic effects except in the case of A. flavus. Complete growth inhibition of C. albicans was observed after about 3 h contact time with 0.2 ppm. C. albicans was less sensitive to peracetic acid. Hence the concentrations of chlorine that are usually present in drinking water distribution systems are ineffective against several Aspergillus spp. and peracetic acid cannot be considered an alternative to chlorine for disinfecting drinking water. The combination of the two biocides is not very effective in eliminating filamentous fungi at the concentrations permitted for drinking water disinfection.

This content is only available as a PDF.