Predictive models for water sources with high susceptibility for bromine-containing disinfection by-product formation: implications for water treatment

Kalinda Watson, Maria José Farré, James Birt, James McGree, Nicole Knight*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines a matrix of synthetic water samples designed to include conditions that favour brominated disinfection by-product (Br-DBP) formation, in order to provide predictive models suitable for high Br-DBP forming waters such as salinity-impacted waters. Br-DBPs are known to be more toxic than their chlorinated analogues, in general, and their formation may be favoured by routine water treatment practices such as coagulation/flocculation under specific conditions; therefore, circumstances surrounding their formation must be understood. The chosen factors were bromide concentration, mineral alkalinity, bromide to dissolved organic carbon (Br/DOC) ratio and Suwannee River natural organic matter concentration. The relationships between these parameters and DBP formation were evaluated by response surface modelling of data generated using a face-centred central composite experimental design. Predictive models for ten brominated and/or chlorinated DBPs are presented, as well as models for total trihalomethanes (tTHMs) and total dihaloacetonitriles (tDHANs), and bromide substitution factors for the THMs and DHANs classes. The relationships described revealed that increasing alkalinity and increasing Br/DOC ratio were associated with increasing bromination of THMs and DHANs, suggesting that DOC lowering treatment methods that do not also remove bromide such as enhanced coagulation may create optimal conditions for Br-DBP formation in waters in which bromide is present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1963-1978
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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