Development of a pulsed light approach as a novel solution in drinking water treatment

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Resource or Project Abstract

The presence of waterborne pathogens in water supplies is an on-going problem for public health. The re-occurrence of these organisms in treated and untreated water has resulted in numerous outbreaks both nationally and internationally. Therefore, there is a need to develop and assess new water sterilisation methods which will effectively and repeatedly remove these harmful pathogens form water supplies. The presence of parasitic species in water supplies has been well documented, before and after the disinfection processes is implemented in water treatment plants. The resistance of these species to chemical disinfection such as chlorination aids in their pathogenicity and viability in the environment. Consequently, the aim of this study was to determine if a novel pulsed UV system provides a suitable means of disinfecting water with particular interest in parasite species. In order to achieve this goal a variety of techniques were unitised which include the identification of a suitable means to determine parasite viability in vitro using human derived cell lines. Therefore, this project reports on the use of an in vitro cell culture based PCR method for the determination of inactivation rates of the pathogenic parasites Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia using a novel pulsed UV system. Results show that the human derived HCT-8 cell line was more suitable for supporting parasite infection and pcr amplification, therefore it was used for all viability studies. Findings described herein highlight the effectiveness of this light system for the inactivation of a broad range of microbial test species and the parasitic organisms. Findings described show that this light system can be adapted for use as a flow through system sterilising water flowing at varying flow rates. Moreover, studies have identified a non-pathogenic harmless Bacillus endospore (Bacillus megaterium) which may be used as a surrogate for C. parvum inactivation studies as it shows similar inactivation rates to that of the problematic parasite. The use of such a surrogate will allow for more in depth studies on the removal of C. parvum from water supplies without risking further contamination issues. It is worth noting that G. lamblia proved more UV resistant than C. parvum. Furthermore, an extensive range of ecotoxicological studies showed that no harmful effects were caused to the treatment liquid following UV exposure, the system is therefore, deemed safe to use on water which is to be released into the natural environment. It was also found that the UV light system provided a more rapid and cost effective means of inactivating test species than the standard low pressure UV lamp system currently in use. A significant increase in microbial and parasite death was achieved with a much shorter treatment time using the pulsed UV system.
The growth of biofilm structures on water plant pipes which can harbour organisms such as viruses and parasite species may provide another route of transmission of unwanted pathogens. Pulsed UV light proved efficient at inactivating biofilm structures on pipe material at varying cell densities and temperatures.
Inactivation of test species using a flow through pulsed UV system was achieved for all flow rates and retention times assessed. Indeed B. megaterium vegetative and endospore cells were repeatedly inactivated highlighting its potential for the removal of C. parvum. Therefore, the findings of this research project conclude that the pulsed UV system may successfully be adapted for use in water treatment plants if used as a system with two or more lamps adjacent to each other and maximal operational parameters are adhered too.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Mary Garvey
Athlone Institute of Technology

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Att 1    EPARR_145_Garvey_Cryptosporidium_prn.pdf   (5.03 Mb)
Att 2    EPARR_145_Garvey_Cryptosporidium_web.pdf   (3.73 Mb)

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Author(s)Garvey, M.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationDevelopment of a pulsed light approach as a novel solution in drinking water treatment
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier95284736-9d66-11e3-b233-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-06-24

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Garvey, M.   "Development of a pulsed light approach as a novel solution in drinking water treatment". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-06-24)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsCryptosporidium, Giardia, infection, water treatment, UV light, inactivation, cell culture qPCR, chlorine resistance, biofilms, ecotoxicity, water treatment plant, public, safe water
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2011-W-MS-5
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWater Quality
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAny attached datasets, data files, or information objects can be downloaded for further use in scientific applications under the condition that the source is properly quoted and cited in published papers, journals, websites, presentations, books, etc. Before downloading, users must agree to the "Conditions of Download and Access" from SAFER-Data. These appear before download. Users of the data should also communicate with the original authors/owners of this resource if they are uncertain about any aspect of the data or information provided before further usage.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Saturday 1st September 2012 (01-09-2012)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Saturday 1st September 2012 (01-09-2012)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 1st September 2013 (01-09-2013)
Published on SAFERMonday 24th February 2014 (24-02-2014)
Date of Last EditThursday 2nd July 2015 at 13:01:39 (02-07-2015)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 2nd July 2015 at 13:01:39 (02-07-2015)

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Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
Laboratory-based project

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
This project is a follow on from the PhD research project of Mary Garvey funded by the Strive programme 2006-2009. This project aimed to develop
the pulsed UV light system used for the doctoral research at water treatment plant level for the removal of waterborne parasite species.
The need for such studies is based on the ongoing presence of pathogenic parasite species namely Cryptpsoridium in Irish drinking water supplies.
Related Europeon guidance connected to this project is the European Water Framework Directive
Supplementary Information
Development of a combined in vitro cell culture - quantitative PCR assay for evaluating the disinfection performance of pulsed light for treating the waterborne enteroparasite Giardia lamblia. Submitted to Water Research
Mary Garvey, Alessia Stocca, Gillian Coughlan and Neil Rowan.

A comparative study on the Pulsed UV and the Low Pressure UV inactivation of waterborne microorganisms.
Mary Garvey, Nikhil Tokala and Neil Rowan. Journal of Water and Health. Submitted to Water and Environmental Research

Cyto-, geno- and ecotoxicological assessment of pulsed-plasma gas-discharge treated-water containing the waterborne protozoan enteroparasite Cryptosporidium parvum.
Jennifer Hayes, Mary Garvey, Dominik Kirf, Neil Rowan. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 2013

Pulsed Ultraviolet light inactivation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms
Mary Garvey, Danny Rabbit, Alessia Stocca and Neil Rowan. Water and Environment Journal

Ecotoxicological assessment of pulsed UV-light treated water containing microbial species and the enteroparasite Cryptosporidium parvum.
Edmond O?Reilly and Neil Rowan. Water and Environment Journal
Mary Garvey, Jennifer Hayes, Eoghan Clifford, Edmond O?Reilly and Neil Rowan. Water and Environment Journal

Efficacy of using harmless Bacillus endospores as novel surrogate organisms to indicate the inactivation performance of recalcitrant Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts suspended in water using pulsed UV light.
Mary Garvey, Eoghan Clifford, Edmond O?Reilly, Neil Rowan. Journal of Parasitology 99(3)

Efficacy of measuring cellular ATP levels to determine the inactivation of Pulsed UV treated Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts suspended in water.
Mary Garvey, Jennifer Hayes, Eoghan Clifford, Dominik Kirf and Neil Rowan. Journal of Water Science and Technology: Water supply 13 (2): 202?213

Inactivation of recalcitrant protozoan oocysts and bacterial endospores in drinking water using high-intensity pulsed UV light irradiation
J.C. Hayes, M, Garvey, A.M. Fogarty, E. Clifford, N.J. Rowan
Journal of Water Science and Technology: Water supply 2012 12 (4):513?522

Data Issues:
Parameters measured are inactivation of test species uisng a novel pulsed UV light system. Specicalised cell culture techniqes were employed. Datasets actually measure the response of selected test speices to UV light.

Images of test species will be included in the final report to the EPA. Fluroscent images of parasite species and Scanning Electron Microsocpy images of Bacillus endospores.
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