Attenuation of sunlight in wastewater treatment ponds reduces the depth of the water exposed to disinfecting irradiances. Shallow pond depth with paddlewheel rotation increases exposure of pathogens to sunlight in high rate algal ponds. Generation of thin films, using pond walls as inclined planes, may increase inactivation of pathogens by increasing sunlight exposure. The performance of a laboratory based model system incorporating an inclined plane (IP) was evaluated. F-RNA bacteriophage, in tap water or wastewater, was exposed to sunlight only on the IP with the bulk water incubated in the dark. MS2 inactivation was significantly higher when the IP was present (P < 0.05) with a 63% increase observed. Prolonged exposure increased MS2 die-off irrespective of IP presence. Versatility of the IP was also demonstrated with faster inactivation observed in both optically clear tap water and wastewaters. IPs of different surface areas produced similar inactivation rates when operated at similar hydraulic loading rates regardless of slope length.

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