Disinfection of Water and Wastewater Using Gamma Irradiation in Isfahan Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty Member of Environmental Health Eng., Faculty of Public Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord

2 Asist. Prof., Environment Research Center., Faculty of Public Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan

3 Prof., Environment Research Center., Faculty of Public Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan

4 Faculty Member of Medical Physics, Boushehr University of Medical Sciencs

5 B. A. of Microbiology, Environment Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences


To investigate the effect of gamma irradiation on the disinfection of water and wastewater, water samples were collected from raw and filtered water and wastewater samples were taken from the effluent of the secondary sedimentation, polished effluent (1-day retention time), and also from filtered (rapid sand filter) effluent. The samples were irradiated with gamma collimated beam in a batch system using a Co-60 therapeutic gamma radiation machine with a radioactive source emission rate of 405.38CGy/min at different doses of 20-160 Gy and 80-240 Gy, respectively. The samples were analyzed before and after irradiation for total and fecal coliforms. It was observed that nearly 100% reduction was achieved in total and fecal coliforms in water samples treated with a dose of 160 Gy. Depending on effluent quality, disinfection efficiencies achieved using 240 Gy gamma irradiation for inactivation of total coliforms in wastewater samples were 83, 64, and 56 percent for filtered, clarified, and secondary effluents, respectively. The same values were nearly 81, 58, and 46 percent, respectively, for inactivation of fecal coliforms. At lower doses of 120-240Gy, the coliform bacteria were successfully inactivated. It was concluded that a linear correlation holds between the dose delivered and the inactivation of microorganisms, so that inactivation increases with increasing irradiation time.


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