Water and Wastewater Treatment Applications
Ozone is both a powerful oxidizer and effective disinfectant which makes it a natural fit for treating drinking water (i.e. public and private, wells, etc.) and municipal/industrial wastewater.
In 1785, Van Marum noticed that air near his electrostatic machine acquired a characteristic odor when electric sparks were passed. In 1840, Shonbein named the substance, which gave off this odor, “ozone” from the Greek word “ozein” — to smell. In 1886 ozone was recognized as a disinfectant for water and in 1891 the first pilot plant in Germany proved ozone effective against bacteria. The first drinking water plant began operations in Nice, France, in 1906 and Nice is generally referred to as the birthplace of ozonation for drinking water treatment.
Today more than 6,000 installations worldwide use ozone to treat drinking water and its use is increasing rapidly. Environmental concerns with the transport, storage, and disposal of chemicals combined with the health concerns with halogenated chemical byproducts (THM’s) make ozone a favorable alternative to halogen chemicals including chlorine.
Treating municipal and industrial wastewater with ozone was a key focus in the United States during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today the use of ozone in wastewater treatment is accelerating rapidly due to both wastewater discharge regulations and the environmental concerns with halogenated chemicals (including chlorine) and the byproducts they produce.