Methods for reduction of trihalomethanes in the rural municipality of Macdonald potable water supply system

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Cho, Steven Y. F.
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Monitoring data for potable water in the R.M. of Macdonald regional water system indicates elevated levels of chlorine disinfection by-products (DBPs), trihalomethanes (THMs). Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) and chlorine dose are the key precursors for the formation of THMs. Currently, the DOC is not removed efficiently at the Sanford water treatment plant, which supplies the R.M.’s potable water distribution system. The raw water DOC concentration incoming to the plant varied from 8.9mg/L to 31.8mg/L during this study. Sanford treated water effluent contained an average DOC of 6.5mg/L and the THM levels ranged from 86.6ppb to 175.7ppb. One of the objectives of this study was to conduct jar tests to optimize Sanford’s water treatment process to improve removal of DOC. Optimization of the coagulation process successfully reduced the DOC level in the plant effluent by 51% during the summer and 34% in the winter. The DOC reduction resulted in a THM reduction of 73.5ppb in the summer and 59.9ppb during the winter. Results showed that removal of 1mg/L of DOC eliminates 26.8ppb of THMs in summer and 11.9ppb during the winter. Another goal of this project was to investigate the relationship between THMs and their precursors, which includes: water DOC, free chlorine residual, and the chlorine contact time. Water samples were strategically collected throughout the Sanford regional water distribution system; the samples were tested for DOC, UV254, SUVA, chlorine residual, and contact time. A linear relationship between THM formation and chlorine contact time (R2 of 0.92) was found. This indicates that the content of THMs can be decreased by reducing the amount of time the water stays in the distribution system.
Trihalomethanes, DOC, Coagulation, SUVA, Softening, DOC Removal, Alufer, Organic Matter