Stronger disinfection techniques are required to inactivate Bacillus subtilis spores as surrogate microorganisms for Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts. In this study, the effects of UV and persulfate separately and also in combination were investigated on B. subtilis spore inactivation. Central composite design and response surface methodology were used to optimize target microorganism reduction. Contact time, initial pH, and persulfate dosage were considered as input experimental variables. Based on the design of the experiments, first and second order response surface models have been developed to correspond to the output response of B. subtilis spore reduction. It can be concluded that microbial reduction by UV alone was more effective than persulfate, while the combined UV/persulfate process demonstrated the highest log reduction (4.1) under the following optimal conditions: 60 min contact time, pH = 7.8, and persulfate dosage of 30 mM. On the other hand, the optimal condition for UV treatment was a contact time of 60 min at a pH of 5.0, which led to a 3.19 log spore inactivation. Consequently, the UV/persulfate system can be introduced as an alternative disinfectant for the inactivation of B. subtilis spores.

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