Use of Organic N-Halamines as Water Disinfectants
Elder, Elisabeth D.
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Purpose. For many years potable water has been disinfected primarily through chlorination. A resulting problem has been the production of toxic trihalomethanes through reactions of free chlorine with organic impurities (Vogt and Regli, 1981; Brodtmann and Russo, 1979). Other current disinfectants such as chlorine dioxide, ozone, alkaline hypochlorites, and many of the inorganic and organic halamines lack stability in solid form or in aqueous solutions (Barnela et aI., 1986). With industrial development, water recycling, increasing population, and problems caused by chlorination, finding alternative water disinfectants is of increasing importance. The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacies several organic N-halamines as alternative water disinfectants. Ideally a disinfectant will be stable in solid and aqueous forms, nontoxic, noncorrosive, odorless, tasteless, and effective against a variety of potential pathogens. Some of the organic N-halamines appear to have these qualities (Worley et al., 1985). Early Studies. Much of the work has focused on 3-chloro-4,4-dimethyl-2-oxazolidinone (compound I). This compound, originally found to be bactericidal by Kaminski et a1. (1976) and Kosugi et a1. (1976), has been found to be effective against several genera of bacteria including Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Proteus, Salmonella, Serratia, Enterobacter, and Sphaerotilus (Elder et al., 1986; Williams et al., 1985; Worley et al., 1985; Worley et a., 1983a; Worley et al, 1981). It has also been found to be effective against several fungal genera including Candida and Rhodotorula, several protozoal genera including Giardia and Entamoeba, and poliovirus type I (Worley et al, 1985). Compound I has been found not to be toxic to chickens in drinking water (Mora et al., 1982). In the presence of organic demand compound I reacts much less rapidly with organic impurities than other disinfectants such as calcium hypochlorite (Worley et al., 1984a; Vogt and Regli, 1981; Brodtmann and Russo, 1979). Trihalomethane production is greatly reduced by the decreased reactivity. Compound I is stable in both acidic and neutral aqueous solutions and in solid form (Worley and Burkett, 1984; Worley et al., 1984b; Worley et al., 1983a; Worley et al., 1983b; Burkett et al., 1981).