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An east Texas power utility will be the first small water utility service in Texas to use ozone technology for drinking water treatment. The BiOzone Corp., an ozone water treatment engineering firm based in Denver, has been contracted to design and build a process train for disinfecting up to 36,000 gal of drinking water per day.
According to Guenter Moldzio, CEO of BiOzone Corp., the ozone-treated water will be a safer alternative to water treated with chlorine only.
“The system is designed to produce drinking water with significantly less chlorination disinfection byproducts, such as THM and haloacetic acids,” Moldzio said.
In the fall of 2000, the power utility contacted BiOzone to look for alternative treatment technology to produce drinking water from surface-water sources. The traditional method of disinfection, using sodium hypochlorite and retaining the chlorinated water in a tank, would sometimes produce chlorination byproducts called trihalomethanes (THM) in excess of the acceptable limit dictated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
BiOzone offered a modified process train, which would call for ozone as the primary disinfectant, but also as an oxidizer to completely or partially oxidize organic compounds, which are precursors to the formation of THM.
According to Moldzio, THMs and HHA5s are known carcinogens. “It can be shown that the BiOzone process train nearly eliminates the occurrence of carcinogenic THMs and haloacetic acids,” he said.
Early in January 2006, the TCEQ granted permission to the utility to proceed with the construction of an ozone-based process train. This development was significant for BiOzone’s future business since 400 other Texas water utility systems have been cited for non-compliance since the middle of 2004.