Ozone is commonly used in the treatment of drinking water, but not everyone understands what it is, how it’s used, or the benefits and risks associated with it. We created this blog post to provide a brief introduction to Ozone.
How is Ozone Used for Water Treatment?
Ozone is among the most powerful oxidizing agents known to exist. For this reason, it is often used to compliment chlorine disinfection of drinking water. By using ozone, utilities can limit or avoid the use of chlorine if there’s a concern about dangerous byproduct formation. Once introduced to the treatment process, ozone can safely eliminate a wide range of organic compounds and microorganisms.
Stand-alone ozone effectively treats non-biodegradable contaminants, including micropollutants which are substantially untreated through the conventional activated sludge process. Ozone also treats groundwater that has been polluted by metals, like iron and manganese and inorganics, such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), that are easily oxidated by O3. Ozone can also be used to remove unwanted colors, smells, and flavors from the water.
What is Ozone?
Ozone is an allotrope of oxygen (different structural modifications of the same element). There
are two main allotropes of oxygen: a diatomic molecule that is made up of two oxygen atoms,
oxygen or dioxygen (O2), and a triatomic molecule made up of three atoms of oxygen, ozone
Triatomic oxygen (ozone, O3), is an inorganic molecule. As a gas it is pale blue in color with a distinctively pungent smell. This very reactive allotrope is destructive to materials like rubber and fabrics and is also damaging to lung tissue. Traces of it can be detected as a sharp, chlorine-like smell, coming from electric motors, laser printers and photocopiers. It is also the strange odor a person would smell after a thunderstorm.