Copper impregnated mesoporous activated carbon catalyst was applied for the elimination of microorganisms in wastewater. The antibacterial activity of the catalyst was determined qualitatively by testing the removal of pathogens in water after contacting with the catalyst. Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri, Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella sonnei, and Salmonella typhi were taken as the model pathogens in determining the antimicrobial activity of the catalyst. The catalyst developed for this purpose was thoroughly characterized using instrumental techniques such as BET analysis, X-ray diffraction, FTIR spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscope to determine the pore and surface area, structural phases, surface functional groups, and surface morphology respectively. The energy dispersive X-ray analysis carried out confirmed qualitatively the percentage of copper impregnated in the catalyst. The experimental studies revealed that the catalyst was highly efficient and advantageous to be employed for industrial applications because of the nonleacheablity of copper from the catalyst and nonreoccurrence of the pathogens in the treated water. The transmission electron microscopy evidenced the complete cell wall rupture of the microorganisms. All the experimental results revealed that the copper impregnated mesoporous activated carbon exhibited a strong and long term antibacterial activity throughout the studies for repeated cycles. © 2007 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.