The City of Superior, Wisconsin Is Changing to Ultraviolet for Wastewater Treatment
Like most cities, Superior, WI has been using chlorine to treat disinfect its wastewater for release into the environment. It then uses sulfur dioxide to eliminate the chlorine. The city currently uses 11 tons of chlorine per year.
Switching to ultraviolet disinfection, which works by altering bacteria at the genetic level to render them unable to multiply, will not only spare the environment the heavy chemical load but will also eliminate pH problems and the issue of trihalomethanes (chlorination by-products). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only allows the release of trihalomethanes at 80 parts per billion annually. This presents a problem for many municipal wastewater systems. Use of UV will eliminate the trihalomethane problem completely.