UV light irradiation is being increasingly applied as a primary process for water disinfection, effectively used for inactivation of suspended (planktonic) cells. In this study, the use of UV irradiation was evaluated as a pretreatment strategy to control biofouling. The objective of this research was to elucidate the relative effectiveness of various targeted UV wavelengths and a polychromatic spectrum on bacterial inactivation and biofilm control. In a model system using Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the inactivation spectra corresponded to the DNA absorption spectra for all wavelengths between 220 and 280 nm, while wavelengths between 254 nm and 270 nm were the most effective for bacterial inactivation. Similar wavelengths of 254-260-270 nm were also more effective for biofilm control in most cases than targeted 239 and 280 nm. In addition, the prevention of biofilm formation by P. aeruginosa with a full polychromatic lamp was UV dose-dependent. It appears that biofilm control is improved when larger UV doses are given, while higher levels of inactivation are obtained when using a full polychromatic MP lamp. However, no significant differences were found between biofilms produced by bacteria that survived UV irradiation and biofilms produced by control bacteria at the same microbial counts. Moreover, the experiments showed that biofilm prevention depends on the post-treatment incubation time and nutrient availability, in addition to targeted wavelengths, UV spectrum and UV dose.
- Water disinfection