Solar radiation is considered the primary route for disinfection of pathogenic bacteria in maturation ponds. There is scarce information on depth profiling and attenuation of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), UV-A and UV-B in shallow maturation ponds operating in tropical climates. Measurements of solar irradiance of the three wavelength ranges, together with turbidity, have been acquired from different depths for over 1 year in a shallow maturation pond (44 cm of depth) operating in Brazil. UV-A and UV-B were still detected at 10 cm from the surface, but from 15 cm both were undetectable. PAR was still detected at 30 cm of depth. Irradiation attenuation showed to be related to turbidity. Attenuation coefficients were calculated and simple models without turbidity (traditional structure) or including log10 of turbidity are proposed for predicting PAR irradiance attenuation as a function of depth.

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