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Water Treatment and Peracetic Acid

Peracetic Acid (PAA) is a powerful disinfectant due to its high oxidizing potential, effectiveness against a broad range of microorganisms and its favorable environmental profile. PAA harnesses the power of oxygen for the treatment of effluent wastewater, secondary disinfection, combined sewer overflows and other non-potable water applications.

How Does Peracetic Acid Work in Water Treatment?

Peracetic acid’s oxidative properties allow it to quickly break down cell walls and membranes of harmful microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, algae, and viruses. It is particularly effective at destroying organic compounds and pollutants across a wide pH range, unlike competitive products like chlorine-based disinfectants. Once added to water, PAA undergoes hydrolysis, breaking down into harmless byproducts acetic acid (vinegar), hydrogen peroxide, and oxygen. This non-toxic lifecycle makes it ideal for water treatment processes where there are strict regulations on residual cleaning products.





Applications for Peracetic Acid in Water Treatment

Versatile and biodegradable, PAA’s use in water treatment applications spans across industries and can be a worthwhile chemistry for your facility’s cleaning program. Examples include:

  • Disinfection of sewage and wastewater effluents in treatment plants, including the reduction of fecal coliform and E. coli.
  • Control of slime forming bacteria and biofouling in recirculating cooling water systems, non-food contact water systems, and ornamental or recreation water.
  • Agricultural water and irrigation systems.
  • Water treatment in primary or secondary oil and gas recovery systems to control anaerobic sulfide forming bacteria and aerobic slime forming bacteria.
  • Oil and gas used in the treatment of produced water, cooling water, influent systems, retort water systems, irrigation water systems and wastewater.
  • Biofouling control in pulp & paper milling systems.
  • Sanitization of RO, NF, & UF membranes and piping systems.
  • Odor control for controlling nuisance odors and harmful hydrogen sulfide (H2S).



PAA Powerhouse in Action

Hydrogen Sulfide Oxidation

Unleashing the oxidative power of Hydritreat WT2216 to reduce and remove dangerous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) levels is more effective than traditional treatments of bleach and peroxide. Hydritreat can be used to remove H2S odor in wastewater treatment applications, oil and gas processes, as well as retention ponds and breaks down into non-harmful by-products: vinegar and water.

PPM H2S Oxidized Per PPM Active Ingredient

Hydrogen Sulfide Oxidation



Effluent Disinfection

Secondary effluent water treatment options showing the positive impact EPA registered peracetic acid has on effluent treated with UV. Used in conjunction with UV, peracetic acid will improve effluent clarity allowing UV to be more effective at lower output giving operators the confidence to control effluent quality during high load and UV maintenance conditions.


Log Reduction of Fecal Coliform & E. coli for Various Secondary Effluent Treatments

Effluent Disinfection


Eliminating Slime-Forming Bacteria

Before Hydrite’s EPA-registered peracetic acid addition, slime-forming bacteria levels were high resulting in poor heat transfer and frequent cooling tower packing (fill) replacements. After Hydrite’s peracetic acid addition, cooling tower slime-forming bacteria was dramatically reduced and cooling tower performance increased. Read the Case Study +


Cooling Tower Water Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) Levels

Cooling Tower Water Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) Levels


Peracetic Acid Products in Water Treatment

Hydrite's line of Hydritreat and Hydroxycide products are used for a variety of industrial water treatment applications such as oil and gas field wells and cooling water systems. EPA-registered products include:

  • Hydroxycide™ 527EPA-registered sanitizer used for CIP pipelines, filling machines, bottle washing, and tank cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection. It is also used in the treatment of process water, cooling water, and wastewater.
  • Hydritreat™ WT 2216: Liquid antibiotic free antimicrobial, odor control and vigorous H2S oxidizer, and powerful CIP additive for protein and oxalated removal.
  • Hydritreat™ SB 1523: May be used as an oxidizing agent in flume water and as an antimicrobial agent.
  • Hydroxycide 1522™: EPA-registered sanitizer used to control slime forming bacteria and biofouling in recirculating cooling water systems, non-food contact water systems and ornamental or recreation water. Also used in primary or secondary oil and gas recovery systems to control anaerobic sulfide-forming bacteria, aerobic slime forming bacteria, yeast, and fungi.

PAA Water Treatment - EPA Registered Products



water flow

Is PAA Right for Your Facility's Water Treatment?

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