Importance of Bromine-Substituted DBP’s in Drinking Water


Significant fractions of bromine-substituted disinfection byproducts (DBPs)—particularly trihalomethanes (THMs)— have been observed to form during treatment of water from the Missouri River. THM speciation was also noted to follow a seasonal pattern during a 2.5-year period, during which samples were collected multiple times per month. Although some treatment processes were effective at reducing the chloroform formation potential, no treatment used at this utility significantly reduced the formation of the three bromine-substituted THM species. Using chloramination rather than free chlorination for secondary disinfection, however, was effective at limiting increases in the concentration of all four regulated THM species in the distribution system.

Share and Cite:

L. Wulff, E. Inniss and T. Clevenger, "Importance of Bromine-Substituted DBP’s in Drinking Water," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 8A, 2013, pp. 28-34. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.58A004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] T. A. Bellar, J. J. Lichtenberg and R. C. Kroner, “The Occurrence of Organohalides in Chlorinated Drinking Waters,” Journal (American Water Works Association), Vol. 66, No. 12, 1974, pp. 703-706.
[2] J. J. Rook, “Formation of Haloforms during Chlorination of Natural Waters,” Water Treatment and Examination, Vol. 23, 1974, pp. 234-243.
[3] W. W. Bunn, B. B. Haas, E. R. Deane and R. D. Kleopfer, “Formation of Trihalomethanes by Chlorination of Surface Water,” Environmental Letters, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1975, pp. 205-213. doi:10.1080/00139307509435822
[4] National Cancer Institute, “Report on the Carcinogenesis Bioassay of Chloroform,” National Cancer Institute: Bethesda, 1976.
[5] US Environmental Protection Agency, “National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Control of Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water,” Federal Register, Vol. 44, No. 231, 1979, pp. 68624-68632.
[6] US Environmental Protection Agency, “National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts,” Federal Register, Vol. 63, No. 241, 1998, pp. 69390-69476.
[7] US Environmental Protection Agency, “National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule,” Federal Register, Vol. 71, No. 2, 2006, pp. 388-493.
[8] World Health Organization, “Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality,” 3rd Edition, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2008.
[9] US Environmental Protection Agency, “Drinking Water; National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts,” Federal Register, Vol. 59, No. 145, 1994, pp. 38668-38829.
[10] R. M. Clark and B. K. Boutin, “Controlling Disinfection By-Products and Microbial Contaminants in Drinking Water,” National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, Cincinnati, 2001.
[11] J. M. Symons, S. W. Krasner, L. A. Simms and M. Sclimenti, “Measurement of THM and Precursor Concentrations Revisited: The Effect of Bromide Ion,” Journal (American Water Works Association), Vol. 85, No. 1, 1993, pp. 51-62.
[12] C. J. Nokes, E. Fenton and C. J. Randall, “Modeling the Formation of Brominated Trihalomethanes in Chlorinated Drinking Waters,” Water Research, Vol. 33, No. 17, 1999, pp. 3557-3568. doi:10.1016/S0043-1354(99)00081-0
[13] P. Westerhoff, P. Chao and H. Mash, “Reactivity of Natural Organic Matter with Aqueous Chlorine and Bromine,” Water Research, Vol. 38, No. 6, 2004, pp. 1502-1513. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2003.12.014
[14] G. Hua, D. A. Reckhow and J. Kim, “Effect of Bromide and Iodide Ions on the Formation and Speciation of Disinfection Byproducts during Chlorination,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 40, No. 9, 2006, pp. 3050-3056. doi:10.1021/es0519278
[15] J. L. Acero, P. Piriou and U. von Gunten, “Kinetics and Mechanisms of Formation of Bromophenols during Drinking Water Chlorination: Assessment of Taste and Odor Development,” Water Research, Vol. 39, No. 13, 2005, pp. 2979-2993. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2005.04.055
[16] R. S. Summers, S. M. Hooper, H. M. Shukairy, G. Solarik and D. Owen, “Assessing DBP Yield: Uniform Formation Conditions,” Journal (American Water Works Association), Vol. 88, No. 6, 1996, pp. 80-93.
[17] H. Pourmoghaddas, A. A. Stevens, R. N. Kinman, R. C. Dressman, L. A. Moore and J. C. Ireland, “Effect of Bromide Ion on Formation of HAAs During Chlorination,” Journal (American Water Works Association), Vol. 85, No. 1, 1993, pp. 82-87.
[18] B. G. Oliver, “Effect of Temperature, pH, and Bromide Concentration of the Trihalomethane Reaction of Chlorine with Aquatic Humic Material,” In: R. L. Jolley, W. A. Brungs and R. B. Cumming, Eds., Water Chlorination: Environmental Impact and Health Effects, Ann Arbor Science, Inc., Ann Arbor, 1980, pp. 141-149.
[19] J. J. Rook, A. A. Gras, B. G. van der Heijden and J. de Wee, “Bromide Oxidation and Organic Substitution in Water Treatment,” Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, Vol. 13, No. 2, 1978, pp. 91-116. doi:10.1080/10934527809374796
[20] Y. C. Soh, R. Roddick and J. van Leeuwen, “The Impact of Alum Coagulation of the Character, Biodegradability, and Disinfection By-Product Formation Potential of Reservoir Natural Organic Matter (NOM) Fractions,” Water Science and Technology, Vol. 28, No. 6, 2008, pp. 1173-1179.
[21] D. Gang, T. E. Clevenger and S. K. Banerji, “Effects of Alum Coagulation on Speciation and Distribution of Trihalomethanes (THMs) and Haloacetic Acids (HAAs),” Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2005, pp. 521-534. doi:10.1081/ESE-200046555
[22] R. E. Rathbun, “Speciation of Trihalomethane Mixtures for the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio Rivers,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 180, No. 2, 1996, pp. 125-135. doi:10.1016/0048-9697(95)04938-X
[23] US Geological Survey, “Surface-Water Data for the Nation,” 2012.
[24] R. C. Hoehn, C. W. Randall, F. A. Bell and P. T. B. Shaffer, “Trihalomethanes and Viruses in a Water Supply,” Journal of Environmental Engineering Division ASCE, Vol. 103, No. EE5, 1977, pp. 803-814.
[25] M. D. Arguello, C. D. Chriswell, J. S. Fritz, L. D. Kissinger, K. W. Lee, J. J. Richard and H. J. Svec, “Trihalomethanes in Water: A Report on the Occurrence, Seasonal Variation in Concentrations, and Precursors of Trihalomethanes,” Journal (American Water Works Association), Vol. 71, No. 9, 1979, pp. 504-508.
[26] J. N. Veenstra and J. L. Schnoor, “Seasonal Variations in Trihalomethane Levels in an Iowa River Water Supply,” Journal (American Water Works Association), Vol. 72, No. 10, 1980, pp. 583-590.
[27] L. Liang and P. C. Singer, “Factors Influencing the Formation and Relative Distribution of Haloacetic Acids and Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 37, No. 13, 2003, pp. 2920-2928. doi:10.1021/es026230q
[28] L. Heller-Grossman, J. Manka, B. Limoni-Relis and M. Rebhun, “Formation and Distribution of Haloacetic Acids, THM and TOX in Chlorination of Bromide-Rich Lake Water,” Water Research, Vol. 27, No. 8, 1993, pp. 1323-1331. doi:10.1016/0043-1354(93)90219-8
[29] S. D. Boyce and J. F. Hornig, “Reaction Pathways of Trihalomethane Formation from the Halogenation of Dihydroxyaromatic Model Compounds for Humic Acid,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 17, No. 4, 1983, pp. 202-211.
[30] M. J. Farré, J. Reungoat, F. X. Argaud, M. Rattier, J. Keller and W. Gernjak, “Fate of N-Nitrosodimethylamine, Trihalomethane and Haloacetic Acid Precursors in Tertiary Treatment Including Biofiltration,” Water Research, Vol. 45, No. 17, 2011, pp. 5695-5704. doi:10.1021/es60157a014
[31] J. L. Schnoor, J. L. Nitzschke, R. D. Lucas and J. N. Veenstra, “Trihalomethane Yields as a Function of Precursor Molecular Weight,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 13, No. 9, 1979, pp. 1134-1138.
[32] P. C. Singer, H. S. Weinberg, K. Brophy, L. Liang, M. Roberts, I. Grisstede, S. Krasner, H. Baribeau, H. Arora and I. Najm, “Relative Dominance of Haloacetic Acids and Trihalomethanes in Treated Drinking Water,” Awwa Research Foundation/American Water Works Association, Denver, 2002.
[33] T. S. Norman, L. L. Harms and R. W. Looyenga, “The Use of Chloramines to Prevent Trihalomethane Formation,” J. AWWA, Vol. 72, No. 3, 1980, pp. 176-180.
[34] S. A. Hubbs, D. Amundsen and P. Olthius, “Use of Chlorine Dioxide, Chloramines, and Short-term Free Chlorination as Alternative Disinfectants,” Journal (American Water Works Association), Vol. 73, No. 2, 1981, pp. 97-101.
[35] G. Hua and D. A. Reckhow, “DBP Formation during Chlorination and Chloramination: Effect of Reaction Time, pH, Dosage and Temperature,” Journal (American Water Works Association), Vol. 100, No. 8, 2008, pp. 82-95. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.05.058
[36] J. Lu, T. Zhang, J. Ma and Z. Chen, “Evaluation of Disinfection By-Products Formation during Chlorination and Chloramination of Dissolved Natural Organic Matter Fractions Isolated from a Filtered River Water,” Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol. 162, No. 1, 2009, pp. 140-145. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2007.01.032
[37] G. Hua and D. A. Reckhow, “Comparison of Disinfection Byproduct Formation from Chlorine and Alternative Disinfectants,” Water Research, Vol. 41, No. 8, 2007, pp. 1667-1678.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.