Temperature-dependent change of light dose effects on E. coli inactivation during simulated solar treatment of secondary effluent
In this study, simulation of solar disinfection of secondary effluents was performed, to assess the dose effects, as instructed by the reciprocity law. A full factorial experimental design on the operational parameters of the process was performed (time, temperature, bacterial load, light intensity) and three response variables were estimated (disinfection efficiency, regrowth after 24, and 48. h). In the 240 disinfection experiments, an erratic behavior was observed in all responses to light exposure, attributed to the combination of both irradiation intensity and temperature during treatment. As a result, the validity of the reciprocity law between light dose and irradiation intensity is challenged. The majority of the cases failed to comply with it, indicating the dependence on temperature conditions, as well as the applied intensity. Dose affected the bacterial regrowth potential after 24 and 48. h in a more conventional way. It appears that in order to attain a valid projection of the outcome of solar disinfection in secondary effluent, intensity and dose are not the only parameters to be considered, with temperature also having to be taken under consideration.