Bacteriophage and Biodosimetry

As Ultra Violet Light (UV) technology gains importance in the United States as a means to disinfect water and wastewater, the use of Bacteriophage as a biological indicator of UV Dose is gaining equal prominence. Authorities are relying on data generated by BioVir, from pilot and plant scale site-specific biodosimetry studies, to make regulatory decisions.

Why Biodosimetry?

Although the energy put out by UV lamps used in a given treatment configuration can be determined by physical measurements there are a variety of variables that make the overall dose of UV (mJ/Cm2 ) difficult to measure. Unknown hydraulic parameters, for example, can have a profound affect on the amount of UV Light the microbes in the water being treated receive. Biodosimetry, using MS-2 coliphage, is being relied upon to provide reliable information regarding the overall UV dose and subsequent log reduction of organisms throughout the UV treatment process.

During a typical study BioVir prepares high concentrations MS-2 coliphage and determines their sensitivity to UV using a collimating beam device. The coliphage is then shipped to the treatment facility and kept cold until use. The UV treatment system to be evaluated is run as per standard operating procedures and the coliphage added by utility personnel to the influent stream at a target concentration of typically 105 to 106/mL. The concentration of MS-2 in the influent and in the product water is measured and their degree of reduction is correlated to the UV dose (as determined from the collimated beam sensitivity check) that would be required to cause such a reduction in numbers.

BioVir Laboratories has been involved in numerous biodosimetry exercises in both drinking water and wastewater treatment systems. Our experienced, knowledgeable staff is critical to efficiently and accurately process the large number of samples produced during each short duration challenge event. Please contact us to discuss your study requirements.


NWRI UV Guidelines

EPA Method 1601/1602

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