A study was initiated to determine the presence of organic disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water treated with chlorine dioxide (ClO2). One potential advantage for the use of ClO2 as a disinfectant is the reduced formation of organic DBPs. Generally, water treated with ClO2 produces chlorite and chlorate ions, but there is limited information regarding the presence of halogenated organic DBPs. Eight systems that use chlorine dioxide as part of the water disinfection process were investigated. All systems in this study applied chlorine as a primary or secondary disinfectant in addition to ClO2. To evaluate seasonal and spatial variations, water samples were collected during cold water (February to March 2003) and warm water (July to August 2003) months at five sites for each system: raw water (R, before treatment), treated water (T, after treatment but before distribution), and three points along the same distribution line (D1, D2, D3). Sampling and analysis were conducted according to established protocols. A suite of 27 organic DBPs including haloacetic acids (HAA), trihalomethanes (THM), haloacetonitriles (HAN), haloketones, haloacetaldehydes (HA), chloropicrin, and cyanogen chloride were examined. In addition, the concentration of oxyhalides (chlorite and chlorate ions) and auxiliary parameters were also determined.
Chlorite was found in treated (T) and distributed (Dx) waters. The chlorite ion levels decreased along the distribution system (T > D1 > D2 > D3). At T sites, the levels ranged from 10 to 870 µg/L (winter), and from 300 to 1,600 µg/L (summer). Chlorite was not found in treated or distributed water in the one system that used ozone. Chlorate ion levels ranged from 20 to 310 µg/L (winter), and 80 to 318 µg/L (summer). Chlorate levels remained relatively constant throughout the distribution system. THM and eight HAA (HAA8) accounted for approximately 85% of the total DBPs (wt/wt) analyzed, followed by total HA (up to 7%) and HAN (3%). THM in distributed water were found at concentrations between 1.8 and 30.6 µg/L (winter), and 3.3 and 93.6 µg/L (summer). For HAA8, the levels ranged from 13 to 52 µg/L (winter), and 16 to 111 µg/L (summer). Chloral hydrate ranged from 0.2 to 5.2 µg/L (winter), and 0.4 to 12.2 µg/L (summer). The temporal and spatial variations observed in previous studies were confirmed in the current study as well.