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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Wastewater Treatment

The final step before releasing the treated wastewater to the environment is to kill microorganisms that might be health hazards. This process, called disinfection, can be accomplished by adding chlorine or by exposing the wastewater to ultraviolet light (UV). Disinfection with chlorine can produce chemicals which are dangerous to public health, so alternatives such as ultraviolet light are becoming more popular. The treated wastewater effluent can now be discharged to rivers or lakes.

UV Light Panels

UV light panels immersed in channel

UV Channels

Three parallel channels containing panels of UV lights

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