Over the course of the next two weeks, the Fox Metro Water Reclamation District will be conducting a study on the application of using peracetic acid (PAA) in wastewater treatment. We would like to see if switching to PAA will be the right fit for our plant. Peracetic acid can be used as a disinfectant in wastewater treatment instead of chlorine. Using chlorine in the final steps of treating wastewater is the industry standard and effectively removes harmful pathogens that are in the wastewater, but chlorine can negatively impact aquatic plants and wildlife. Peracetic acid naturally decomposes, where chlorine doesn’t. The use of PAA has risen in popularity in the US in recent years. However, most wastewater treatment plants still use chlorine.

The Fox Metro Water Reclamation District only chlorinates the treated wastewater from May 1 to October 31 each year per Fox Metro’s approved NPDES permit. This PAA trial is being conducted in April to help ensure that the Fox River is not adversely impacted. Our team started introducing PAA into the system for two weeks starting Monday, April 8th. The Fox Metro staff will be sampling and testing the wastewater at different stages in the disinfectant process. After the trial is over, the remaining peracetic acid will be flushed from our system in time for the start of our customary chlorination in May.