Science, Health and Technology
5:43 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

St. Joseph plant uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria

Missouri River photo by US Army Corps. of Engineers via Flickr.

A new $18 million project at a St. Joseph plant uses ultraviolet lights to remove E. coli from wastewater before it goes into the Missouri River.

Officials cut the ribbon Wednesday at the UV and Effluent Pump Station Facility.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports the plant contains 972 ultraviolet lights, which kill DNA found in E. coli so it can't reproduce.

Project manager Matt Schultze says officials decided to use the ultraviolet lights, rather than chlorine gas, because the gas is hazardous to workers and the environment.

The plant, which went online in June, can treat up to 54 million gallons of wastewater per day. Its typical load is 17 million gallons a day.