Abstract

Desalinated seawater is the major source of drinking water in many countries. During desalination, several activities including pretreatment, desalination, stabilization, mixing, storage and distribution are performed. Few disinfectants are used during these activities to control the biofouling agents and microbiological regrowth. The reactions between the disinfectants and natural organic matter (NOM), bromide and iodide form disinfection by-products (DBPs) in product water. The product water is stabilized and mixed with treated freshwater (e.g., groundwater) to meet the domestic water demands. The DBPs in desalinated and blend water are an issue due to their possible cancer and non-cancer risks to humans. In this paper, formation and distribution of DBPs in different steps of desalination and water distribution systems prior to reaching the consumer tap were reviewed. The variability of DBPs among different sources and desalination processes was explained. The toxicities of DBPs were compared and the strategies to control DBPs in desalinated water were proposed. Several research directions were identified to achieve comprehensive control on DBPs in desalinated water, which are likely to protect humans from the adverse consequences of DBPs.

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