There is a tendency to design biological units for chemical or petrochemical wastewater treatment. Some of these treatment plants are even sometimes used for the degradation of any external industrial sewage transported for the purpose. In this case, the decision to accept or refuse the waste must be rapid and sure. The aim of this paper is to propose a new treatability test based on a direct far UV photooxidation of the sample, coupled with a UV spectrophotometric survey of the waste quality. The test has been applied on different samples from chemical and petrochemical industries and the results have been compared to those obtained with more classical tests, as for example, biodegradation tests using either air or pure oxygen. For most of the samples, quite good correlation has been observed between the photooxidation test and biodegradation. The UV treatability test is currently used for checking up on petrochemical wastewater and chemical sewage.

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