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Formation of disinfection byproducts during chlorination of secondary effluent and renovated water

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Disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation was studied in nonnitrified and nitrified secondary effluents from several treatment plants and renovated water following soil aquifer treatment. The wastewater was chlorinated using different concentrations of chlorine. The study included formation of trihalomethanes (THM), haloacetic acids (HAA), and total dissolved organic halogens (DOX). In ammonia-containing effluents (nonnitrified), where stable chloramine is formed, applying a chlorine dose of 0.34 (weight ratio of Cl/C) produced an average ratio of DOX to dissolved organic carbon (DOC) of 8.5 μg Cl/mg C, and insignificant concentrations of THM and HAA. In nitrified-effluents forming free chlorine residual, a Cl/C dose of 0.34 (weight ratio) yielded an average DOX/DOC of 49 μg Cl/mg C. The THM formation varied widely with the effluent source and HAA/DOC formation was 2 to 3 μg Cl/mg C. The DOX formation potential (DOXFP) per mg carbon averaged 28 μg Cl/mg C for ammonia-containing effluents and 147 μg Cl/mg C for completely nitrified effluents. The THM formation potential (THMFP) constituted 13 to 56% and HAAFP constituted 10 to 17% of the DOXFP, respectively. The results indicated that high concentrations of DBP are formed during chlorination of effluents, posing a contamination problem. Reduction of DBP formation can be achieved by applying treatment processes producing low-DOC effluents and leaving a small concentration of residual ammonia.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 1997

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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