Formation of regulated and non-regulated disinfection by-products (DBPs) is an issue at both potable water and wastewater treatment plants (W/WWTPs). Water samples from W/WWTPs across the USA were collected and DBP formation potentials (DBPFPs) in the presence of free chlorine and chloramine were obtained for trihalomethane (THM), haloacetic acid (HAA), haloacetonitrile (HAN), and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). With nearly 200 samples covering a range of dissolved organic carbon (0.6-23mg/L), ultraviolet absorbance (0.01-0.48cm-1 at 254nm wavelength), and bromide (0-1.0mg/L) levels, power function models were developed to predict the carbonaceous DBP (C-DBP) and nitrogenous DBP (N-DBP) precursors spanning 3 orders of magnitudes. The predicted THM and HAA formation potentials fitted well with the measured data (analytical variance of less than 22%). Inclusion of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) into the HANFP model improved the predictions. NDMAFP was the most difficult one to predict based upon the selected water quality parameters, perhaps suggesting that bulk measurements such as DOC or UVA254 were not appropriate for tracking NDMAFP. These are the first such DBPFP models for wastewater systems, and among the few models that consider both C-DBPs and N-DBPs formation potentials from the same water sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3755-3762
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • DBP precursor
  • Formation potential
  • HAA
  • HAN
  • Modeling
  • NDMA
  • THM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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