Impact of wastewater treatment processes on organic carbon, organic nitrogen, and DBP precursors in effluent organic matter

Stuart W. Krasner, Paul Westerhoff, Baiyang Chen, Bruce Rittmann, Seong Nam Nam, Gary Amy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations

Abstract

Unintentional, indirect wastewater reuse often occurs as wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges contaminate receiving waters serving as drinking-water supplies. A survey was conducted at 23 WWTPs that utilized a range of treatment technologies. Samples were analyzed for typical wastewater and drinking-water constituents, chemical characteristics of the dissolved organic matter (DOM), and disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursors present in the effluent organic matter (EfOM). This was the first large-scale assessment of the critical water quality parameters that affect the formation of potential carcinogens during drinking water treatment relative to the discharge of upstream WWTPs. This study considered a large and wide range of variables, including emerging contaminants rarely studied at WWTPs and never before in one study. This paper emphasizes the profound impact of nitrification on many measures of effluent water quality, from the obvious wastewater parameters (e.g., ammonia, biochemical oxygen demand) to the ones specific to downstream drinking water treatment plants (e.g., formation potentials for a diverse group of DBPs of health concern). Complete nitrification reduced the concentration of biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) and changed the ratio of BDOC/

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2911-2918
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume43
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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