Contribution of wastewater- versus non-wastewater-derived sources to haloacetonitriles formation potential in a wastewater-impacted river

Hamed Khorasani, Jiale Xu, Thuy Nguyen, Zachary Kralles, Paul Westerhoff, Ning Dai, Zhenduo Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Population growth and urbanization have led to the increasing presence of treated wastewater effluents in downstream drinking water sources. Drinking water sources influenced by organic matter from upstream wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are thought prone to the formation of haloacetonitriles (HANs), a group of nitrogenous disinfection by-products (DBPs) that can exhibit higher toxicity than currently regulated carbonaceous DBPs. We develop a framework for studying the HAN formation potential (HAN-FP) considering the WWTP and non-WWTP related sources of HAN precursors, and apply this framework to a representative WWTP-impacted river, the Illinois River, USA. A spatiotemporally-resolved river hydrodynamic and water quality model is developed using HEC-RAS to quantify the contribution of WWTP versus non-WWTP sources of HAN-FP precursors. Results show that non-WWTP sources of HAN-FP are considerable, accounting for up to 78% of HAN-FP concentration. Moreover, the contribution of the two sources varies due to streamflow discharge variability. During lower flows, the contribution of WWTPs drives the high concentration of HAN-FP and during higher flows, the contribution of non-WWTP sources becomes dominant. As a result, a high risk of HAN-FP may exist persistently (HAN-FP concentration is always larger than 9.7 μg/L in this study), not only during low flows but also during high flows due to both wastewater- and non-wastewater-derived HAN-FP sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number148355
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume792
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2021

Keywords

  • Disinfection by-product
  • Haloacetonitriles
  • Illinois River
  • Water quality modeling
  • Water reuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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