2. Comparison of the disinfection by-product formation potentials between a wastewater effluent and surface waters

Tanita Sirivedhin, Kimberly A. Gray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


In this study, the chemical reactivity with chlorine as measured by disinfection by-product formation potential (DBPFP) is compared among samples of a wastewater effluent and surface waters. Water samples that had higher anthropogenic impacts were found to have higher overall DBPFP due primarily to higher dissolve organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. Effluent-derived organic matter (EfOM), however, was found to be less reactive with chlorine on a per DOC concentration basis. Yet, EfOM had higher proportions of brominated DBP, which may be associated with greater health risks. In this research, pyrolysis-GC/MS was used to establish relationship between structural features of DOC and DBPFP. We show that there is a critical set of pyrolysis fragments that separates the waters based on the degree of anthropogenic influence. Even though no single chemical marker was found to be indicative of the formation potentials of different classes of DBP, combinations of chemical fragments were found to be associated with the formation potentials of total trihalomethane (THM), brominated THM, total haloacetic acid (HAA), and brominated HAA for this set of samples. In contrast to previous work, the phenolic signature of these samples was negatively correlated to DBPFP, whereas strong relationships were found between DBPFP and the organic nitrogen and halogenated signatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1036
Number of pages12
JournalWater Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Disinfection by-products
  • Haloacetic acid
  • Pyrolysis-GC/MS
  • Trihalomethane
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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