Evaluating efficiency of radio waves for microbial removal in water samples

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


The most common used methods for water disinfection were chemicals like chlorine, ozonation, ultraviolet radiation, membrane processes, etc. Water disinfection using irradiation techniques is new in water treatment industry which has been developed recently. The aim of the present study was to investigate radio frequency (RF) efficiency for the inactivation of total coliform (TC), fecal coliform, and heterotrophic bacterial count of water pellets. Tap water samples were taken from School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and irradiated using hydropad device, steam KLEAR model S-38 (1.2 W and frequency of 120-200 kHz). Microbial concentration was measured in cycles 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 in 1 and 2 h contact time. Indicator bacteria were counted using plate count method and multiple fermentation tube technique. According to the microbial results, after 40 cycles and without chlorine residual, TC, fecal coliform, and heterotrophic bacteria were reduced by 86, 90, and 85%, while after 15 cycles and 0.8 mg/L chlorine residual, removal rate was 89, 91, and 89%, respectively. Furthermore, it was observed that after 2 h of contact time, TCs, fecal coliforms, and heterotrophic plate count were reduced by 78.2, 80, and 60%, respectively. Although RF efficiency in water disinfection has not been studied, our findings suggested its possible use due to more than 75% efficiency. From the standpoint of practical use, more studies should be done, especially to find a fine synergist agent, determining power, frequency, and suitable contact time and also the method should be modified.  


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