Sunday, April 25, 2010

Making drinkable water a cleaner way

Terra Daily via UPI: Most water treatment plants use chlorine to keep water free of bacteria but Israeli scientists say ultraviolet light might be a better method. Tel Aviv University postdoctoral researcher Hadas Mamane, doctoral student Anat Lakretz, Professor Eliora Ron and their team said although chlorine keeps water free of micro-organisms, it also produces carcinogenic byproducts.

The scientists say they recently determined the optimal UV wavelength water treatment plants and large-scale desalination facilities could use to destroy health-threatening micro-organisms, as well as make the facilities more efficient.

"UV light irradiation is being increasingly applied as a primary process for water disinfection," Lakretz said. "In our recent study, we've shown how this treatment can be optimized to kill free-swimming bacteria in the water -- the kinds that also stick inside water distribution pipes and clog filters in desalination plants by producing bacterial biofilms."…

Image of UV light by Tatoute, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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