Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016RI124B

Bench-top simulation of water treatment system to assess disinfectant byproducts precursors and formation potentials in source waters of Rhode Island

Institute: Rhode Island
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-15 End Date: 2017-02-14
Total Federal Funds: $20,029 Total Non-Federal Funds: $40,897

Principal Investigators: Soni Pradhanang, Tom Boving

Abstract: Source water from a lake, river, reservoir or sometime ground water aquifer contains microbial pathogen and therefore needs to be disinfected. Disinfection is an important process in water treatment targeted mainly at removing microbes from water supplies. Chlorine is the most widely used disinfectant in the U.S. because of its efficiency in killing certain harmful pathogens and its ability to provide residual disinfection in the distribution system. However, there is a growing concern regarding the use of chlorine due to the formation of numerous by-products known as disinfectant byproducts (DBPs). DBPs are formed when chorine reacts with chemical species in water, referred to as DBP precursors. Substantial research in needed in order to advance our knowledge of factors responsible in formation of DBPs such as Trihalomethanes (THMs) and Haloacetic Acids (HAAs) in our source waters. Formation of carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous DBPs are of issues in Rhode Island and the State public drinking water system has been facing various challenges to maintain water quality standards aimed at ensuring safe drinking water. We propose to conduct DBP formation potential (DBPFPs) experiments to study the reactions between the precursors and disinfectant. With knowledge of trends between precursors and DBPFP, unit processes capable of reducing more important precursors can be employed to reduce overall DBP levels in treated water, which would benefit RI public water consumers.