Gordon Research Conference: Water Disinfection, Byproducts and Health

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Options and Limitations of Disinfection and Oxidation Processes for Water Safety

Safe water for human consumption and for ecosystems is still one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Despite substantial progress in this field in recent decades, provision of safe drinking water is still a major global issue. This problem is aggravated by new challenges such a population growth, climate change and industrialization in emerging countries. Overall, this leads to increased pressure on water resources both in terms of quantity and quality. To address these issues in the urban water cycle, various measures can be taken, such as rainwater harvesting, artificial groundwater recharge, water reuse, enhanced wastewater treatment for micropollutant control and seawater desalination. In all these measures, chemical and/or physical disinfection processes are essential to guarantee hygienically safe potable water. To this end, there is lack of understanding of mechanisms and inactivation kinetics of microorganisms and antibiotic resistance, information required to optimize disinfection processes. In addition, during disinfection processes, undesired disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are formed from the reactions of chemical disinfectants with water matrix components or by their decay. The formation and control of DBPs and their human toxicological consequences are still largely unknown. However, this information would be needed for the selection of optimal treatment conditions. In impaired water resources such as municipal wastewaters, often a large variety of organic micropollutants can be found and they have to be abated to protect the aquatic environment and human health. To achieve this goal, a large selection of oxidative processes is available, leading to a transformation of micropollutants. To better understand these processes, kinetic and mechanistic information is needed as well as a toxicological assessment of the formed transformation products from micropollutants, as well as the formed DBPs from the reaction of matrix components with the selected oxidants.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Water Disinfection, Byproducts and Health (GRS)" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.

Conference Program

The session topics for this conference are being developed by the conference chairs. Please check back regularly for updates to this information.

Chair

Urs von Gunten

Vice Chair

David A. Reckhow

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