The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Effect of UV treatment on DBP formation

TitleEffect of UV treatment on DBP formation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsReckhow DA, Linden KG, Kim J, Shemer H, Makdissy G
JournalJournal American Water Works Association
Start Page100
Date Published06/2010
Other NumbersProduct Number: JAW_0072068

To investigate the effect of ultraviolet (UV) treatment on the subsequent formation of regulated and unregulated disinfection byproducts (DBPs), two sets of water samples were submitted to low-pressure (LP) and medium-pressure (MP) UV disinfection. Results indicated that germicidal doses of UV light, both LP and MP, did not substantially affect the tendency of the test waters to form trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, or total organic carbon under conditions typical of drinking water treatment. However, MP UV treatment did lead to increased concentrations of chloropicrin and trichloropropanone at rates consistent across the water samples and UV doses tested. Although some minor DBPs were enhanced by pretreatment with MP UV, the final concentrations remained small. Nonetheless, given the elevated risk of halonitromethane formation with MP UV disinfection and uncertainties about the toxicology of such compounds, utilities - especially those using waters high in nitrate - may want to choose their UV technologies in order to effectively balance disinfection and DBP control.