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Selective removal of natural organic matter during drinking water production changes the composition of disinfection by-products
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7422-0853
Norrvatten, Sweden; Stockholm Vatten and Avfall, Sweden.
Helmholtz Ctr Munich, Germany; Tech Univ Munich, Germany.
Univ Maryland, MD 20688 USA.
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2020 (English)In: Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, ISSN 2053-1400, E-ISSN 2053-1419, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 779-794Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Disinfection by-products (DBPs) are potentially toxic compounds formed upon chemical disinfection of drinking water. Controlling the levels and characteristics of dissolved organic matter (DOM) as precursor material for DBPs is a major target to reduce DBP formation. A pilot-scale treatment including suspended ion exchange (SIX (R)), a ceramic microfilter (CeraMac (R)) with in-line coagulation and optional pre-ozonation followed by granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration was compared with a conventional full-scale treatment based on DOM removal and DBP formation using Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), rapid fractionation, liquid chromatography organic carbon detection (LC-OCD), adsorbable organic halogens (AOX) and trihalomethane (THM) analysis. The new treatment combination showed different selectivity for DOM removal, compared to the conventional, leading to changes in composition of the DBPs formed. SIX (R) and GAC had the largest impacts on reducing AOX and THM formation potentials but the high adsorptive capacity of GAC affected the diversity of detected DBPs most. Chlorination and chloramination of pilot treated water with doses normally used in Sweden produced low levels of AOX compared to the full-scale treatment, but FT-ICR MS revealed an abundance of brominated DBP species in contrast with the conventional treatment, which were dominated by chlorinated DBPs. This finding was largely linked to the high DOM removal by the pilot treatment, causing an increased Br-/C ratio and a higher formation of HOBr. Potential increases in Br-DBPs are important to consider in minimizing health risks associated with DBPs, because of the supposed higher toxicity of Br-DBPs compared to Cl-DBPs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY , 2020. Vol. 6, no 3, p. 779-794
National Category
Water Treatment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-164858DOI: 10.1039/c9ew00931kISI: 000519272700026OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-164858DiVA, id: diva2:1417687
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, FORMASSwedish Research Council Formas [2013-1077]; Svenskt Vatten Utveckling [16-104]; Stockholm Vatten och Avfall; Norrvatten

Available from: 2020-03-30 Created: 2020-03-30 Last updated: 2023-08-25
In thesis
1. Uncharted Waters: Non-target analysis of disinfection by-products in drinking water
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Uncharted Waters: Non-target analysis of disinfection by-products in drinking water
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Okända Vatten : Analys av desinfektionsbiprodukter i dricksvatten
Abstract [en]

Disinfection by-products (DBPs) are potentially toxic compounds formed when drinking water is treated with disinfectants, such as chlorine or chloramine. A large proportion of the exposure to DBPs is still unknown and the health risks observed through epidemiological studies cannot be explained by DBPs known today. In this thesis, a part of the unknown DBP fraction is investigated, covering a wide range of non-volatile, chlorine/bromine-containing DBPs. The goals were to investigate how the compositions of these DBPs differ between water treatment plants, how their occurrence changes in the distribution system until reaching consumers and how new treatment techniques can reduce their formation and toxicity. To analyze unknown DBPs, a non-targeted approach adopting ultra-high-resolution mass spectrometry, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), was used, where the mass of molecules is measured with such accuracy that the elemental composition of individual DBPs can be calculated. A panel of bioassays was used to assess the combined toxic effects from these DBP mixtures. 

The results show that the formation of these DBPs to a large extent was specific to each water treatment plant and that local conditions influenced DBP formation, based on e.g., the abundance of organic material with certain chemical structures, bromide and disinfection procedure and agent (chlorine or chloramine). The DBPs were detected in both chlorinated and chloraminated water and in all tap water samples, demonstrating that they are part of human exposure. The number of DBP formulae decreased and the DBP composition changed between drinking water treatment and consumer taps, suggesting that DBP exposure to consumers is not necessarily resembling measurements at the treatment plants. Evaluation of new treatment techniques showed that suspended ion exchange and ozonation have potential to decrease the formation and toxic effects of DBPs and that the removal of organic matter can influence qualitative aspects of DBP formation, such as the proportions of chlorine-containing (less toxic) versus bromine-containing (more toxic) DBPs. Through increased knowledge about the role and relevance of non-volatile DBPs, this work can contribute to future monitoring and actions to reduce the health risks associated with DBPs in chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water. 

Abstract [sv]

Desinfektionsbiprodukter (DBP:s) är potentiellt giftiga ämnen som bildas när dricksvatten renas med desinfektionsmedel såsom hypoklorit eller monokloramin. En stor del av exponeringen är ännu okänd och hittills kända DBP:s kan inte förklara de hälsorisker som förknippats med klorerat dricksvatten i epidemiologiska studier. I avhandlingen undersöks en relativt okänd fraktion av DBP:s som utgörs av icke-flyktiga, klor/brom-innehållande ämnen. Målen var att undersöka hur dessa DBP:s varierar mellan olika vattenverk, om de förekommer hos konsumenter och hur nya vattenreningstekniker kan minska dess bildandning och relaterad toxicitet. För att mäta okända DBP:s användes ultrahögupplöst masspektrometri (Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS)), med vilken massan hos molekyler kan bestämmas så exakt att atomsammansättningen för enskilda DBP:s kan räknas ut. En serie effektbaserade metoder som bygger på biologiska testsystem användes för att mäta kombinerade toxiska effekter från de studerade biprodukterna. 

Resultaten visar att största delen av bildade DBP:s var unik för varje vattenverk och att lokala förutsättningar påverkar vilka DBP:s som bildas, till exempel om det finns organiskt material med särskilda kemiska strukturer, bromid eller vilket desinfektionsmedel (klor eller kloramin) som används. De studerade biprodukterna detekterades både i klorerat och kloraminerat dricksvatten och i samtliga kranvatten, vilket innebär att de bidrar till konsumenters exponering. Antalet detekterade DBP:s minskade och sammansättningen ändrades mellan vattenverk och konsument, vilket innebär att DBP exponeringen hos konsumenter inte är densamma som mäts på vattenverken. En utvärdering av nya reningstekniker visade att suspenderat jonbyte och ozonering har potential att minska bildning och relaterad toxisk effekt från DBP:s och att borttagning av organiskt material kan påverka kvalitativa aspekter av DBP bildning, såsom proportionerna av klorerade (mindre toxiska) och bromerade (mer toxiska) DBP:s. Genom ökad insikt om icke-flyktiga DBP:s roll och relevans kan detta arbete bidra till att förbättra framtida uppföljning och insatser för att minska hälsorisker kopplade till DBP:s i klorerat eller kloraminerat dricksvatten.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2021. p. 65
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 805
Keywords
Water treatment technologies, chemical disinfection, FT-ICR MS, bioassays, Vattenreningstekniker, klor, kloramin, FT-ICR MS, effektbaserad analys
National Category
Environmental Sciences Water Treatment
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-173312 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-173312 (DOI)9789179296940 (ISBN)
Public defence
2021-03-12, TEMCAS, T-buidling and online via Zoom., Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

Additional funding agencies: Svenskt Vatten Utveckling, Norrvatten, and Stockholm Vatten och Avfall.

Available from: 2021-02-15 Created: 2021-02-15 Last updated: 2021-02-17Bibliographically approved

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