213394 Treatment and Survival: Limitations and Factors Affecting Disinfection

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 8:50 AM

Robert S. Reimers, PhD, FAIC , School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
The inactivation of pathogens in residuals can be achieved by exposure to various types of stressors The physical stressors include temperature, cavitation and radioactive irradiation (gamma and beta). These processes may solublize the organics, break the cells apart, destroy DNA, and other critical subcellular structures. The most common physical parameter utilized is temperature. Chemical stressors are associated with alkaline agents (raising the pH and causing exothermic reactions), acidic agents (lowering the pH and causing exothermic reactions), oxidation and reduction agents (destroying organics and stabilization of uncharged disinfectants) and non-charged disinfectants (required to disinfect helminth eggs and bacterial spores). The influence of chemicals that can assist in disinfection by raising/lowering the pH, enhancing exothermal production of energy, oxidation or reduction reactions with the residuals and the application of non-charged disinfectants are addressed. The biological processes result in temperature increases greater than 52oC and the production of biocidal by-products such as organic acids, aldehydes and alcohols, which act as disinfectants. The biological processing assists the disinfection processing by autothermal biological activity (increasing the temperature), reduction of the degradable organics (reducing the shielding of pathogens) and production of biocidal agents in the degradation process (fermentation or anaerobic processing). The key to these agents is to optimize their use and thereby reduce the process costs substantially. Currently, there is a great deal of process development in this area, but until we understand how to integrate these factors and explain how the mechanisms work, there will be a lot of skepticism by both the public and regulatory agencies.

Learning Objectives:
List the various types of stressors that affect the inactivation of pathogens in residuals.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Robert Reimers is an environmental engineer and applied chemist specializing in natural resource management including residuals management and toxic/hazardous waste management. His research has assessed, developed or enhanced various techniques for over 55 industries, consulting firms and government agencies in the last 25 years. This research has been a result of over 80 grants and contracts yielding over 140 papers, 170 presentations and 120 technical reports. Dr. Reimers is active with various professional organizations specifically Water Environment Federation (WEF), International Water Association, American Water Works Association, The New York Academy of Science, Louisiana Academy of Sciences, and Fellow in American Institute of Chemists. He is past-chairman of WEF Disinfection Committee and co-chairman of Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, along with chairing many symposiums, specialty conferences and preconference workshops for WEF.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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