To support the implementation of quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) for managing infectious risks associated with drinking water systems, a simple modeling approach for quantifying Log10 reduction across a free chlorine disinfection contactor was developed. The study was undertaken in three stages: firstly, review of the laboratory studies published in the literature; secondly, development of a conceptual approach to apply the laboratory studies to full-scale conditions; and finally implementation of the calculations for a hypothetical case study system. The developed model explicitly accounted for variability in residence time and pathogen specific chlorine sensitivity. Survival functions were constructed for a range of pathogens relying on the upper bound of the reported data transformed to a common metric. The application of the model within a hypothetical case study demonstrated the importance of accounting for variable residence time in QMRA. While the overall Log10 reduction may appear high, small parcels of water with short residence time can compromise the overall performance of the barrier. While theoretically simple, the approach presented is of great value for undertaking an initial assessment of a full-scale disinfection contactor based on limited site-specific information.
- drinking water
- free chlorine
- pathogen inactivation
- First received 14 August 2014.
- Accepted in revised form 5 January 2015.
- © IWA Publishing 2015