Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Dr. Enrique La Motta


Wastewater treatment has always been a problem to human settlers. Events such as the great stink of London during the summer of 1858 have pushed engineers into developing new technologies to deal with such wastes in effective and safe ways. Research projects like this aim to find ways of improving performance, economics, or environmental friendliness of treatment and disinfection methods.

This thesis deals with the effectiveness, mechanisms of action, by-products and side effects of using DC current to disinfect secondary effluent. It is proposed as an alternative to conventional methods, such as chlorination, which are not always environmentally friendly or feasible.

It was demonstrated that DC current efficiently kills pathogens. DC properly used achieves disinfection significantly higher than the minimum required by the EPA. Nevertheless disinfection by products such as residual chlorine should be taken into account when considering this technology as an alternative to conventional chlorination.


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