Investigating the role of biofilms in trihalomethane formation in water distribution systems with a multicomponent model.
ABSTRACT: Biofilms are ubiquitous in the pipes of drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs), and recent experimental studies revealed that the chlorination of the microbial carbon associated with the biofilm contributes to the total disinfection by-products (DBPs) formation with distinct mechanisms from those formed from precursors derived from natural organic matter (NOM). A multiple species reactive-transport model was developed to explain the role of biofilms in DBPs formation by accounting for the simultaneous transport and interactions of disinfectants, organic compounds, and biomass. Using parameter values from experimental studies in the literature, the model equations were solved to predict chlorine decay and microbial regrowth dynamics in an actual DWDS, and trihalomethanes (THMs) formation in a pilot-scale distribution system simulator. The model's capability of reproducing the measured concentrations of free chlorine, suspended biomass, and THMs under different hydrodynamic and temperature conditions was demonstrated. The contribution of bacteria-derived precursors to the total THMs production was found to have a significant dependence on the system's hydraulics, seasonal variables, and the quality of the treated drinking water. Under system conditions that promoted fast bacterial re-growth, the transformation of non-microbial into microbial carbon DBP precursors by the biofilms showed a noticeable effect on the kinetics of THMs formation, especially when a high initial chlorine dose was applied. These conditions included elevated water temperature and high concentrations of nutrients in the influent water. The fraction of THMs formed from microbial sources was found to reach a peak of 12% of the total produced THMs under the investigated scenarios. The results demonstrated the importance of integrating bacterial regrowth dynamics in predictive DBPs formation models.
Project description:Epidemiologists have used trihalomethanes (THMs) as a surrogate for overall disinfection byproduct (DBP) exposure based on the assumption that THM concentrations are proportional to concentrations of other DBP classes. Toxicological evidence indicates THMs are less potent toxins than unregulated classes like haloacetonitriles (HANs). If THMs are not proportional to the DBPs driving toxicity, the use of THMs to measure exposure may introduce non-trivial exposure misclassification bias in epidemiologic studies. This study developed statistical models to evaluate the covariance and proportionality of HAN and THM concentrations in a dataset featuring over 9500 measurements from 248 public water systems. THMs only explain ?30% of the variance in HANs, whether the data is pooled in a classic linear regression or hierarchically grouped by water system in a multilevel linear regression. The 95% prediction interval on HANs for the median THM concentration exceeds the interquartile range of HANs. Mean HAN:THM ratios range from ?2.4% to ?80% across water systems, and varied with source water category, season, disinfectant sequence and distribution system location. The HAN:THM ratio was 265% higher in groundwater systems than in surface water systems and declined by ?40% between finished effluent and maximum residence times in surface water systems with chlorine-chlorine disinfection. A maximum likelihood approach was used to estimate the misclassification bias that may result from using THMs to construct risk-ratios, assuming that HANs represent the "true" DBP exposure risk. The results indicate an odds ratio of ?2 estimated with THM concentrations could correspond to a true odds ratio of 4-5. These findings demonstrate the need for epidemiologic studies to evaluate exposure by measuring DBPs that are likely to drive toxicity.
Project description:Existence of fungi and disinfection by-products (DBPs) in public swimming pools water are dangerous since it can seriously affect on health of swimmers. This data study aimed to determine the fungi contamination and DBPs concentration including trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs), halamines and cyanogen halides and haloacetonitriles (HANs) of swimming pools (chlorine based) in Gonabad County, Iran. So, the fungal load and DBPs concentration were investigated in two swimming pools in the middle of spring of 2017 by collecting a number of 9 water samples and 9 samples of lateral facilities of each pool by membrane filtration technique and sterile carpet. The DBPs concentrations were measured by gas chromatograph technique. The results showed that the pools were contaminated with Dermatophyte (trichophyton mentagrophytes and epidermophyton flucosomes), yeasts, and more with opportunistic saprophytic fungi. 24.8%, 22.7%, 16.9%, and 11.4% saprophytic fungi were separated from pool side, locker room, pool water, and shower positions, respectively. 7.4% and 3.2% of yeast fungi as well as 0.23% and 0.2% of dentofacies of causative agents of tinea were separated from the pools water and showers as well as locker room and shower positions, respectively. According to the data, halamines and cyanogen halides had the highest concentrations, followed by HAAs, THMs and HANs respectively. Among the halamines and cyanogen halides, HAAs, THMs and HANs, trichloramine acid was the most dominant species, followed by trichloroacetic acid and dichloramine, respectively.
Project description:This study measured chlorine- and chloramine-reactive precursors using formation potential (FP) tests of nine U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulated and 57 unregulated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in tertiary-filtered wastewater before and after pilot-scale granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption. Using breakthrough of precursor concentration and of concentration associated calculated cytotoxicity and genotoxicity (by correlating known lethal concentrations reported elsewhere), the performance of three parallel GAC treatment trains were compared against tertiary-filtered wastewater: ozone/GAC, chlorine/GAC, and GAC alone. Results show GAC alone was the primary process, versus ozone or chlorine alone, to remove the largest fraction of total chlorine- and chloramine-reactive DBP precursors and calculated cytotoxicity and genotoxicity potencies. GAC with pre-ozonation removed the most chlorine- and chloramine-reactive DBP precursors followed by GAC with pre-chlorination and lastly GAC without pre-treatment. GAC with pre-ozonation produced an effluent with cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of DBPs from FP that generally matched that of GAC without pre-oxidation; meanwhile removal of toxicity was greater by GAC with pre-chlorination. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of DBPs from FP tests did not scale with DBP concentration; for example, more than 90% of the calculated cytotoxicity resulted from 20% of the DBPs, principally from haloacetaldehydes, haloacetamides, and haloacetonitriles. The calculated cytotoxicity and genotoxicity from DBPs associated with FP-chloramination were at times higher than with FP-chlorination though the concentration of DBPs was five times higher with FP-chlorination. The removal of DBP precursors using GAC based treatment was at least as effective as removal of DOC (except for halonitromethanes for GAC without pre-oxidation and with pre-chlorination), indicating DOC can be used as an indicator for DBP precursor adsorption efficacy. However, the DOC was not a good surrogate for total cytotoxicity and genotoxicity breakthrough behavior, therefore, unregulated DBPs could have negative health implications that are disconnected from general water quality parameters, such as DOC, and regulated classes of DBPs. Instead, cytotoxicity and genotoxicity correlate with the concentration of specific classes of unregulated DBPs. Graphical abstract Image 1 Highlights • Ozonation followed by GAC yielded the lowest DBP formation potential.• Chlorination followed by GAC yielded the lowest DBP-associated calculated toxicity.• Breakthrough of DOC matched that of DBP concentration but not of toxicity.• Breakthrough of DOC was faster than most types of DBP precursors.
Project description:This data article reports the relationship between of the bromide ion concentration and the formation potential of disinfectant byproducts (DBPs) including, trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs), and haloacetonitriles (HANs) upon chlorination and monochloramination of the raw water of Karoon River water in Iran. Water samples were collected at an intake of a drinking water treatment plant during July 2014. All tests were performed in triplicate (n=3) and the mean of three measurements reported herein. The data of the formation potential of DBPs was determined under different bromide ions content. The data show the relationship between bromide concentration and DBPs formation that will be useful in the future management, operation and design of water treatment plants.
Project description:Building water systems promote the regrowth and survival of opportunistic pathogens, such as Legionella pneumophila, especially within biofilms, where most drinking water microbes reside. However, compared to their planktonic form, disinfection efficacy for the biofilm-associated forms of water-based pathogens is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of free chlorine and monochloramine in the inactivation of biofilm-associated L. pneumophila strain Philadelphia-1 serogroup 1 (LpP1s1). Mature (1.5- to 2-year-old) drinking water biofilms were developed on copper (Cu) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) slides within biofilm annular reactors, then colonized with LpP1s1 at approximately 4 log10 CFU cm-2 and exposed to 2?mg liter-1 of free chlorine or monochloramine. Ct (disinfectant concentration × time, expressed as mg min liter-1) inactivation values for 2-, 3-, and 4-log10 reductions of planktonic and biofilm LpP1s1 were determined. For planktonic LpP1s1, free chlorine was more effective at inactivation than was monochloramine treatment, and for biofilm-associated LpP1s1, monochloramine was more effective on Cu biofilms while free chlorine was more effective on PVC biofilms. In contrast to monochloramine, free chlorine treatment of Cu and PVC biofilms, negatively impacted LpP1s1 16S rRNA gene transcript levels and may act synergistically with Cu surfaces to further reduce transcript levels. Moreover, LpP1s1 cells shed from biofilms into the bulk water were more resistant to disinfection than were prepared planktonic LpP1s1 cells. Results from this study indicate that biofilm association, disinfectant type, and substratum play an important role in the survival of Legionella pneumophila in building water systems.IMPORTANCE Microbial regrowth within building water systems are promoted by water stagnation, low disinfectant residual, high surface-to-volume ratio, amenable growth temperatures, and colonization of drinking water biofilms. Moreover, biofilms provide protection from environmental stresses, access to higher levels of nutrients, and opportunities for symbiotic interactions with other microbes. Disinfectant efficacy information is historically based on inactivation of pathogens in their planktonic, free-floating forms. However, due to the ecological importance of drinking water biofilms for pathogen survival, this study evaluated the efficacy of two common disinfectants, free chlorine and monochloramine, on Legionella pneumophila colonizing mature, drinking water biofilms established on copper and PVC surfaces. Results showed that inactivation was dependent on the disinfectant type and biofilm substratum. Overall, this, and other related research, will provide a better understanding of Legionella ecological stability and survival and aid policy makers in the management of exposure risks to water-based pathogens within building water systems.
Project description:Broadly applicable disinfection by-product (DBP) precursor surrogate parameters could be leveraged at drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) to curb formation of regulated DBPs, such as trihalomethanes (THMs). In this study, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), ultraviolet absorbance at 254?nm (UV254), fluorescence excitation/emission wavelength pairs (IEx/Em), and the maximum fluorescence intensities (FMAX) of components from parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis were evaluated as total THM formation potential (TTHMFP) precursor surrogate parameters. A diverse set of source waters from eleven DWTPs located within watersheds underlain by six different soil orders were coagulated with alum at pH 6, 7, and 8, resulting in 44 sample waters. DOC, UV254, IEx/Em, and FMAX values were measured to characterize dissolved organic matter in raw and treated waters and THMs were quantified following formation potential tests with free chlorine. For the 44 sample waters, the linear TTHMFP correlation with UV254 was stronger (r(2)=0.89) than I240/562 (r(2)=0.81, the strongest surrogate parameter from excitation/emission matrix pair picking), FMAX from a humic/fulvic acid-like PARAFAC component (r(2)=0.78), and DOC (r(2)=0.75). Results indicate that UV254 was the most accurate TTHMFP precursor surrogate parameter assessed for a diverse group of raw and alum-coagulated waters.
Project description:Disinfection residuals in drinking water protect water quality and public heath by limiting planktonic microbial regrowth during distribution. However, we do not consider the consequences and selective pressures of such residuals on the ubiquitous biofilms that persist on the vast internal surface area of drinking water distribution systems. Using a full scale experimental facility, integrated analyses were applied to determine the physical, chemical and biological impacts of different free chlorine regimes on biofilm characteristics (composition, structure and microbiome) and water quality. Unexpectedly, higher free chlorine concentrations resulted in greater water quality degredation, observable as elevated inorganic loading and greater discolouration (a major cause of water quality complaints and a mask for other failures). High-chlorine concentrations also reduced biofilm cell concentrations but selected for a distinct biofilm bacterial community and inorganic composition, presenting unique risks. The results challenge the assumption that a measurable free chlorine residual necessarily assures drinking water safety.
Project description:Trihalomethanes (THMs) are conditionally carcinogenic compounds formed during chlorine disinfection in water treatment processes around the world. THMs occur especially when source waters are subject to marine influences, high and-or regular precipitation, and elevated levels of organic matter. THMs formation is then rooted in geographic, operational and climatic factors, the relative importance of which can only be derived from large datasets and may change in the future. Ninety three full-scale Scottish water treatment plants (WTPs) were assessed from Jan 2011 to Jan 2013 to identify factors that promote THMs formation. Correlation analysis showed that ambient temperature was the primary THMs formation predictor in potable water (r2 = 0.66, p < 0.05) and water distribution systems (r2 = 0.43, p = 0.04), while dissolved organic carbon (r2 = 0.55, p < 0.001) and chloride (indicating marine influence; r2 = 0.41, p < 0.001) also affected THMs formation. GIS mapping of median THMs levels indicated brominated THMs were most prevalent in coastal areas and on islands. This real-world dataset confirms both geographic and climatic factors are key to THMs formation. If ambient temperatures increase, THMs control will become more challenging, substantiating concerns about the impact of global warming on water quality.
Project description:Quantitative predictions of impacts on public water supplies are essential for planning climate change adaptations. Monitoring data from five full-scale Scottish drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) showed that significant correlations exist between conditionally carcinogenic trihalomethanes (THMs) levels, water temperature (r?=?0.812, p?=?0.0013) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (r?=?0.892, p?<?0.0001), respectively. The strong seasonality of these parameters demonstrated how climate can influence THMs formation. We quantified with laboratory experiments the sensitivity of THMs formation to changes in water temperature and DOC concentration. The laboratory data accurately reproduced real-world THM formation in the DWTPs. We then combined these validated relationships with information from the literature about future trends in mean summer temperatures and surface water DOC in the British Isles, to estimate future global warming impacts on THMs formation in DWTPs that use chlorine for disinfection. An increase in mean summer temperatures will likely increase THM formation, with a 1.8?°C temperature increase and 39% THMs increase by 2050 representing our mid-range scenario. Such an increase has major implications to potable water around the world, either an increased health risk or increased water treatment costs to maintain an equivalent quality potable supply.
Project description:The experiment was conducted in three model drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs) made of unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC), silane cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes to which tap water was introduced. After 2 years of system operation, microbial communities in the DWDSs were characterized with scanning electron microscopy, heterotrophic plate count, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The most extensive biofilms were found in HDPE pipes where bacteria were either attached to mineral deposits or immersed in exopolymers. On PEX surfaces, bacteria did not form large aggregates; however, they were present in the highest number (1.24 × 10(7) cells cm(-2)). PVC biofilm did not contain mineral deposits but was made of single cells with a high abundance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can be harmful to human health. The members of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were found in all biofilms and the water phase. Sphingomonadales and Methylophilaceae bacteria were found only in PEX samples, whereas Geothrix fermentans, which can reduce Fe(III), were identified only in PEX biofilm. The DNA sequences closely related to the members of Alphaproteobacteria were the most characteristic and intense amplicons detected in the HDPE biofilm.