Effectiveness of solar water disinfection in the era of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic for contaminated water/wastewater treatment considering UV effect and temperature

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J Water Process Eng. 2021 Oct;43:102224. doi: 10.1016/j.jwpe.2021.102224. Epub 2021 Jul 17.


Long is the way and hard, that out of COVID-19 leads up to light. The virus is highly contagious and spread rapidly and the number of infections increases exponentially. The colossal number of infections and presence of the novel coronavirus RNA in human wastes (e.g. Excreta/urine) even after the patients recovered and the RT-PCR tests were negative, results in massive load of the viral in water environments. Numerous studies reported the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples. The risk of contaminating water bodies in the regions which suffer from the lack of proper sanitation system and wastewater treatment plants (mostly in developing countries) is higher. Since solar water disinfection (SODIS) is usually used by people in developing countries, there is a concern about using this method during the pandemic. Because the SARS-CoV-2 can be eliminated by high temperature (>56 °C) and UVC wavelength (100-280 nm) while SODIS systems mainly work at lower temperature (<45 °C) and use the available UVA (315-400 nm). Thus, during a situation like the ongoing pandemic using SODIS method for wastewater treatment (or providing drinking water) is not a reliable method. It should be reminded that the main aim of the present study is not just to give insights about the possibilities and risks of using SODIS during the ongoing pandemic but it has broader prospect for any future outbreak/pandemic that results in biological contamination of water bodies. Nevertheless, some experimental studies seem to be necessary by all researchers under conditions similar to developing countries.

PMID:35592836 | PMC:PMC8285244 | DOI:10.1016/j.jwpe.2021.102224