The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of high energy electron beam irradiation in the disinfection of wastewater, and removal of organic matter through measurement of BOD and COD values. The raw wastewater and secondary effluents were transported in a 22.7m3 tank truck to the research facility built at the Virginia Key Wastewater Treatment Plant, Miami, Florida. The facility is equipped with a 1.5 MeV, 50 ma electron accelerator capable of treating the wastewater at a volumetric flow rate of 7.57 l/sec. Some preliminary disinfection was also carried out using a 60Co gamma radiation source. Removal of coliphage, total coliforms, and standard plate counts was found on the order of two to three orders of magnitude in raw wastewater. Gamma irradiation gave slightly better inactivation. However, in all cases it was found that coliphage is more resistant than the other two organisms investigated. Twenty to 30 percent removal of BOD was observed in the case of raw wastewater, however, no significant change was observed in removal of COD.
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