News release

Date: 21st September 2011

Berson UV used to treat hospital wastewater prior to discharge

UV and H2O2 combine in an AOP-process to destroy pharmaceutical compounds

September 21st 2011 - Berson’s medium pressure UV systems are being used in a trial in the Netherlands to treat hospital wastewater prior to discharge. In the trial, UV is applied in combination with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to generate OH- radicals in a so-called “Advanced Oxidation Process” (AOP). The very reactive OH- radicals attack the pharmaceutical residues in the wastewater, breaking them down into H2O, CO2 and harmless metabolites.

Like all hospitals, the wastewater from the Isala Hospital in Zwolle, the Netherlands, contains elevated levels of X-ray contrast compounds and various other pharmaceutical residues.

Prior to UV/ H2O2 treatment the complete wastewater stream is pre-treated in a membrane bioreactor (MBR). The wastewater then passes through a Berson InLine medium pressure UV system, into which specific amounts of H2O2 are injected. The treated wastewater is then discharged as treated sewage into the municipal sewage system.

This is the first full-scale trial for the treatment of hospital wastewater in Europe and is part of the Europe-wide PILLS project, which is investigating which treat¬ment methods are best suited to eliminate pharmaceutical residues from hospital wastewater. At present wastewater plants are not able to remove pharmaceutical residues from their wastewater.

Even though it is unclear what effects these residues have on the water habitat, studies have shown that there is a link between elevated levels of substances such as the hormone ethinylestradiol, which is contained in con¬traceptive pills, and the reproductive rate of fish. The removal of these and other potentially harmful compounds is therefore a priority.

“The pilot plant is going well and Waterschap Groot-Salland, the local water authority which runs the project, has given me very good feedback so far,” said Peter Menne, Berson’s European Sales Manager, about the installation. “An additional benefit of this system is that it requires high doses of UV which is extremely effective at destroying any microorganisms present in the wastewater,” he added.

(Photo Caption: The Berson UV system installed at Isala Hospital in Zwolle, the Netherlands. The UV system is being used in a trial to treat hospital wastewater prior to discharge)

About Berson
Berson ( is a UV disinfection specialist based in the Netherlands, with installations worldwide. The company manufactures UV disinfection systems for municipal drinking water, wastewater and reuse applications. Berson is one of the few non-German UV system suppliers capable of providing a complete range of UV systems with capacities between 10 – 10,000 m3/hour, certified to the newest German DVGW* norm, W294, Parts 1, 2 & 3 – the highest standard currently possible in the world.

* DVGW (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water) is the body responsible for industry self-regulation in the German water and gas and water supply industry and its technical rules are the basis for safety and reliability.


Media Contact:
Damian Corbet
Senior Press Officer
Halma PR Services
Tel: +44 (0)1494 789152;
Fax: +44 (0)1494 728032
Email: dcorbet[at]halmapr[dot]com

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