Water scarcity is one of the main problems of this century. Water reclamation appears as an alternative due to the reuse of treated wastewater. Therefore, effluents treatment technologies (activated sludge, rotary biological discs, percolating beds) must be improved since they are not able to remove emerging contaminants such as enteric pathogens (bacteria and virus). These pollutants are difficult to remove from the wastewater and lead to adverse consequences to human health. Advanced oxidation processes, such as single and catalytic ozonation, appear as suitable complements to conventional processes. Catalytic ozonation was carried out using a low-cost material, a volcanic rock. Single and catalytic ozonation were capable of promoting total Escherichia coli
removal from municipal wastewater after 90 min of contact. The presence of volcanic rock increases disinfection efficiency since E. coli
regrowth was not observed. The identified viruses (Norovirus
genotype I and II and JC
virus) were completely removed using catalytic ozonation, whereas single ozonation was not able to eliminate JC
virus even after 150 min of treatment. The higher performance of the catalytic process can be explained by the formation of hydroxyl radicals, proving that disinfection occurs in the liquid bulk and not due to adsorption at the volcanic rock.
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