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Measures and tools for disinfection by-products (DPBs) minimisation strategies - WT1297

The aim of this project is to investigate a range of measures that may be of value in disinfection by-product (DBP) minimisation strategies.

Policy and Regulatory Context:

Current regulation requires water companies to minimise DBP formation without prejudicing disinfection. Over 600 DBPs have been identified, most of these at trace quantities, and it would not be rational to attempt to monitor for all of these.

Guidance has been given on the range of compounds likely to be formed under different treatment regimes and some of the principal steps to minimise formation. The Chief Inspector’s Report3 has also highlighted HAAs and THMs as the two most abundant group of DBPs and cites a World Health organisation comment that they can serve as indicators for monitoring DBP performance overall.

As an alternative to direct monitoring of DBPs a number of other gross water quality measures may be of value in minimisation strategies. These include: UV absorbance; total and dissolved organic carbon (TOC and DOC); specific UV absorbance (SUVA); total and adsorbable organic halide (TOX and AOX); differential UV absorbance; and fluorescence techniques, including measurement of fluorescent dissolved organic matter (FDOM) and excitation emission matrices (EEM). Some of these may be monitored on line and may form part of the routine operational monitoring, for example, for coagulation control.

The purpose of this study is to understand whether these and other measures are of value in minimisation DBPs.

The objectives are to:

1. Conduct a systematic review of the literature on the use of measures for DBPs, including but not necessarily limited to TOC, DOC, UV, SUVA, differential UV spectroscopy, TOX, AOX and fluorescence techniques.
2. Identify four treatment works two upland and two lowland with known potential to form high levels of DBPs
3. Design and conduct laboratory based treatment test using raw water from each site
4. Analyse the resultant samples for DBPs and selected measures for DBP
5. Examine the data for correlation between DBP measures and DBP concentrations
6. Collect relevant monitoring data from the works for DBPs and any measure and compare with the result from the laboratory phase of the study
7. Summarise the findings in final report and advise whether further treatment works scale studies would be of value.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : DWI70-2-305   (1893k)
• EXE - Executive Summary : DWI70-2-305exsum   (128k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2015

To: 2018

Cost: £118,866
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Cranfield University
Drinking Water              
Water Quality              
Water Supply              
Fields of Study
Water Quality