Effect of seawater intrusion on formation of bromine-containing trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids during chlorination

Evan C. Ged, Treavor H. Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


This study quantified the formation and speciation of halogenated organic disinfection byproducts (DBPs) during chlorination as a function of seawater intrusion by spiking fresh groundwater with 0.1% to 2% seawater by volume. The four chlorine- and bromine-containing trihalomethanes (THM4) and the nine chlorine- and bromine-containing haloacetic acids (HAA9) were the DBPs investigated. The bromide concentration increased from 38μgL-1 in fresh groundwater to 974μgL-1 in 2% seawater, and upon chlorination the concentration of THM4 increased from 43 to 206μgL-1 and the concentration of HAA9 increased from 39 to 75μgL-1. At 0.4% seawater and higher the THM4 concentration exceeded the U.S. EPA maximum contaminant level of 80μgL-1. Although the mass concentration of HAA9 increased by nearly a factor of 2 over the seawater range of 0% to 2%, the mass concentration of the five regulated HAAs (i.e., HAA5) remained approximately constant. This is because HAA5 excludes four bromine-containing species. The increase in mass concentrations of THM4 and HAA9 with increasing seawater intrusion was the result of an increased molar formation of DBP species and a shift from chlorinated species to brominated species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Bromide
  • Chlorine
  • Coastal aquifer
  • Disinfection byproducts
  • Saltwater
  • Sea level rise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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