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Fate of N-nitrosodimethylamine, trihalomethane and haloacetic acid precursors in tertiary treatment including biofiltration



Fate of N-nitrosodimethylamine, trihalomethane and haloacetic acid precursors in tertiary treatment including biofiltration



Water Research 45(17): 5695-5704



The presence of disinfection by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs) and N-nitrosamines in water is of great concern due to their adverse effects on human health. In this work, the removal of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), total THM and five HAA precursors from secondary effluent by biological activated carbon (BAC) is investigated at full and pilot scale. In the pilot plant two filter media, sand and granular activated carbon, are tested. In addition, we evaluate the influence of ozonation prior to BAC filtration on its performance. Among the bulk of NDMA precursors, the fate of four pharmaceuticals containing a dimethylamino moiety in the chemical structure are individually investigated. Both NDMA formation potential and each of the studied pharmaceuticals are dramatically reduced by the BAC even in the absence of main ozonation prior to the filtration. The low removal of NDMA precursors at the sand filtration in comparison to the removal of NDMA precursors at the BAC suggests that adsorption may play an important role on the removal of NDMA precursors by BAC. Contrary, the precursors for THM and HAA formation are reduced in both sand filtration and BAC indicating that the precursors for the formation of these DBPs are to some extent biodegradable.

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Accession: 036191901

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21903236

DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.08.033


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