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Fate and Transport of N-Nitrosamines Under Conditions Simulating Full-Scale Groundwater Recharge Operations

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The key objective of this study was to investigate the attenuation mechanisms of seven N-nitrosamine compounds at environmental concentrations and under conditions relevant to groundwater recharge operations. The study used a combination of controlled laboratory-scale soil-column experiments and groundwater monitoring at a full-scale riverbank filtration facility. Findings of the controlled column experiments suggest that N-nitrosodimethylamine and six other N-nitrosamines ( N-nitrosodiethylamine, N-nitrosomethylethylamine, N-nitroso-n-propylamine, N-nitrosodi-n-butylamine, N-nitrosopiperidine, and N-nitrosopyrrolidine) are biodegradable under oxic and anoxic oxidation–reduction conditions. Half lives determined in this study for the targeted compounds varied between 1.3 and 7 days, which will ensure a removal to below detection limits (<2 ng/L) within short travel times in groundwater recharge systems. Findings of this study suggest that complete removal of N-nitrosamines requires the presence of an adapted biocommunity, which will be established over several weeks to months.

Keywords: N-nitrosamines; N-nitrosodimethylamine; disinfection byproducts; groundwater recharge; water reuse

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2006

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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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