The inactivation efficiencies of silver ions, hydrogen peroxide and their combination was studied as part of a performance evaluation of the combined disinfectant for drinking water applications. The major advantages of such combined disinfectant include, low toxicity of its components, long lasting residual effect and low disinfection by product formation. Specific strains of E. coli (E. coli-B (SR-9) and E. coli K-12) were used in this study as target microorganisms and the separate and combined inactivation efficiencies of silver and hydrogen peroxide were evaluated at different concentrations and exposure durations. Both, silver and hydrogen peroxide exhibited a significant inactivation performance even at concentrations that do not pose any health risk according to the EEC, WHO and the USEPA (the USEPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of silver is 90 ppb, and currently, there is no MCL for hydrogen peroxide but it is approved as a food additive in the USA). Combinations of 1:1000 silver:hydrogen peroxide (w) exhibited higher inactivation performance as compared with each of the disinfectants alone and in some cases a synergistic effect was observed, i.e., the combined disinfectant exhibited higher inactivation performance than the sum of the inactivation levels of the separate disinfectants. Thus, for example, one hour exposure to 30 ppb silver, 30 ppm hydrogen peroxide and their combination yielded 2.87, 0.65 and 5 logs of inactivation respectively. While the rate of inactivation shown by this combined disinfectant, now available commercially in a stabilized formulation is relatively slow, it may well hold promise as a secondary disinfectant providing long lasting residuals and biofilm control required for distribution systems. Its disinfection action may be similar to chloramines, the use of which has been recently outlawed in France and in Germany and which are now under careful scrutiny in other countries due to the formation of undesirable by-products.

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