OxyFile #169

Reprinted from the ECHO Newsletter
Published by:
ECH2O2 Inc.
P.O. Box 126
Delano, MN 55328

The information in this newsletter is for research and educational
purposes only. It is not intended to be used for diagnostic or
prescriptive purposes.



If what the media is saying is true about chlorine destroying the 
ozone layer, then it is urgent that attention should be given to one 
of the largest uses of chlorine, and that is municipal water supplies. 
Some limited experimental studies are being done in the U. S. on the 
use of hydrogen peroxide and/or ozone as a disinfectant for municipal 
water supplies. These two substances are widely used in Europe. As an
example, 3000 cities in Europe use ozone to disinfect their municipal
water supplies. Paris is one of the cities that has used ozone for
many years. Los Angeles, California recently installed an ozonator in
their water system. Let's take a look at some of the studies that have
been or are being conducted.


Mohan V. Thampi authored the article "Water Treatment Controlled By
H2S Levels", appearing in the May, I991 issue of WATER/Engineering &
Management. Thampi says that "More than 90 percent of the drinking
water supply in Florida is derived from groundwater aquifers. In
Central Florida water wells 500 to 1000 feet deep tap the Floridian
aquifer. This raw groundwater is of excellent quality, with all
contaminant levels, except for dissolved H2S (aq)." Hydrogen sulfide
(H2S) is generally stripped out of the water by cascade tray aeration
or mechanical forced-draft aeration. Then it is stored in elevated
tanks and chlorinated prior to distribution. Population growth and
widely varying water demands have resulted in current processes not
being as efficient as they once were. During high demand periods,
there is less stripping of H2S, use of higher quantities of chlorine,
turbidity (cloudiness) and this results in poor water quality as to
taste and odor. Thampi goes on to say "To find a quick and cost
effective solution to the turbidity and chlorine residual problem, a
pilot test was conducted using NaOH (sodium hydroxide) and H2O2
(hydrogen peroxide) chemicals at the 10 million gal./day Econ Water
Plant in Orange County." Finding the correct H2O2 dosage proved
difficult initially. "It was found the turbidity occurred despite
(the) addition of H2O2 and most of this H2O2 was leaving the tank
unreacted. Chlorine demand was unusually low. This meant there was
another H2S oxidizing reaction taking place." "Inspection of the
insides of the tanks showed high clusters of colloidal sulfur adhering
to the tank walls. Thus, it was deduced that the oxygen dissolving
during the aeration was continuing to react with the H2S in the tank
the tank because of favorable equilibrium conditions. When excess H2O2
was added to overcome the air oxidation, only then would the H2O2
oxidation with H2S proceed. So during startups, it took about 2 days
for the H2O2 reaction with H2S to establish its own reaction
conditions in the tank.


The March, 1991 issue of Public Works contained an article by Dyksen 
et al about the experimental use of ozone and hydrogen peroxide for 
the clean up of two contaminated wells. One of the wells is located in 
New Jersey and the other at Spring Valley, New York. A grant of 
$66,000 was awarded by American Water Works Research Foundation of 
Denver to the Ridgewood Water Department. Expertise and financial 
resources are also being provided by Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. of
Paramus, New Jersey, for a total project cost of $115,600. "The
project's overall objective is to develop a practical and cost
effective means of applying the ozone/ H2O2 treatment system for use
at individual public water supply wells. A pilot test unit will be
designed to inject, dissolve and contact the oxidants in a pressurized
line, simulating conditions in a well pump discharge line."
Dyksen et al reported the importance of controlling organic
contaminants in groundwater.  This can be done by protecting
groundwater resources and/or by reclaiming groundwater that has been
affected.  Chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents and gasoline- related
contaminants have been detected in groundwater supply systems.

Precautions have been taken at some wells affected by organic
chemicals with such techniques as packed tower air stripping and
granular activated carbon systems but there are limitations with each
process. There is potential for air contamination around packed towers
since organic substances are transferred from water to air. With
activated carbon there is a need to replace the carbon on a frequent
basis and a concern about using it where radon occurs, "because
of the potential buildup of radioactive materials in the GAC bed."
Methods considered were several Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP's)
because they ". . . have the potential for removing organics from
drinking water including ozone, chlorine, chlorine dioxide,
permanganate, and hydrogen peroxide." Ultraviolet light alone or in
combination with other oxidants was also considered. In the end, ozone
and hydrogen peroxide were chosen as having the most potential.
Advantages of an in-line treatment of ozone/hydrogen peroxide are the
fast destruction of many organic chemicals, adaptability for plant
applications, cost-effectiveness and lack of toxic air emissions.
Reports should be out soon on these tests.


An article by David W. Ferguson et al appeared in the April I990 issue
of the AWWA Journal and is entitled "Controlling Taste and Odor
Compounds, Disinfection By products and Microorganisms." It describes
the third of a five phase pilot project being conducted by the
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, ". . . in
evaluating the hydrogen peroxide ozone (PEROXONE) advanced oxidation
process----(followed by secondary disinfection with chloramines) for
removal of taste and odor compounds, control of disinfection by-
products (DPM's), and inactivation of microorganisms." The water being
treated is from the California State Water Project and the Colorado-

At the pilot plant facility, ozone is bubbled through four glass ozone
contactors. Just prior to this, the raw water can be treated with
hydrogen peroxide by means of a metering pump or in-line static mixer.
The water depth is maintained at 16 feet and water treatment times
varied up to 12 minutes, as do the levels of oxidation treatments. The
article contains some plant schematics, numerous tables and charts
describing the experiments and their effects on contaminants, effect
of contact time, oxidation residuals, etc. Further studies will be
conducted through the mid-1990's as the five phase process continues.
Thus far, the study concludes that PEROXONE is significantly more
effective than is ozone alone in oxidizing taste and odor compounds.

As reported in a previous newsletter, a pilot plant was being designed
"to cleanse San Fernando Valley water-supply wells of industrial
solvents." This was reported in the March 25, 1988 issue of the Los
Angeles Times. Hydrogen peroxide and ozone were selected over
alternative processes because they remove contaminants from the water
without creating hazardous waste problems. The initial design cost for
the plant at North Hollywood was $423,200, the cost of the plant that
was to be built to range from $500,000 to $1.5 million. The plant was
designed to break down trace chemicals including TCE and PCE. Wells
eventually to be treated are in Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale and in
the Crescenta Valley County Water District. "More than 2 dozen wells
have been shut down because of pollution."