Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 1963–1978 | Cite as

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 KnightEmail author
Research Article


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.


Trihalomethanes Haloacetonitriles Br/DOC ratio Chlorination DBPs Response surface methodology 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Urban Water Security Research Alliance and Water Research Australia for financial support. Thanks also to Wolfgang Gernjak and Howard Weinberg for advice regarding experimental design and DBP extraction procedure, respectively. Frederic Leusch is also gratefully acknowledged for research support.

Supplementary material

11356_2014_3408_MOESM1_ESM.docx (10.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 10348 kb)


  1. Bezerra MA, Santelli RE, Oliveira EP, Villar LS, Escaleira LA (2008) Response surface methodology (RSM) as a tool for optimization in analytical chemistry. Talanta 76:965–977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Black BD, Harrington GW, Singer PC (1996) Reducing cancer risks by improving organic carbon removal. J Am Water Works Assoc 88:40–52Google Scholar
  3. Chowdhury S, Champagne P, McLellan PJ (2009) Models for predicting disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation in drinking waters: a chronological review. Sci Total Environ 407:4189–4206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chowdhury S, Champagne P, McLellan PJ (2010) Investigating effects of bromide ions on trihalomethanes and developing model for predicting bromodichloromethane in drinking water. Water Res 44:2349–2359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. CSIRO Land and Water (2008) Salinity.
  6. Eaton AD, Clesceri LS, Rice EW, Greenberg, AE, Franson MAH (eds) (2005) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater 21st ed. American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, Water Environment FederationGoogle Scholar
  7. Farré MJ, Knight NL (2012) Assessment of regulated and emerging disinfection by-products in South East Queensland drinking water. Urban Water Security Research Alliance, Technical Report No. 90Google Scholar
  8. Francis RA, Small MJ, VanBriesen JM (2009) Multivariate distributions of disinfection by-products in chlorinated drinking water. Water Res 43:3453–3468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Francis RA, VanBriesen JM, Small MJ (2010) Bayesian statistical modeling of disinfection byproduct (DBP) bromine incorporation in the ICR database. Environ Sci Technol 44:1232–1239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hua G, Reckhow DA, Kim J (2006) Effect of bromide and iodide ions on the formation and speciation of disinfection byproducts during chlorination. Environ Sci Technol 40:3050–3056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Knight N, Watson K, Farré M, Shaw G (2011) N-Nitrosodimethylamine and trihalomethane formation and minimisation in Southeast Queensland drinking water. Environ Monit Assess 184(7):4207−4222Google Scholar
  12. Koch B, Krasner SW, Sclimenti MJ, Schimpff WK (1991) Predicting the formation of DBPs by the simulated distribution system. J Am Water Works Assoc 83:62–70Google Scholar
  13. Kolla RB (2004) Formation and modelling of disinfection by-products in Newfoundland communities. Masters Thesis, Memorial University of NewfoundlandGoogle Scholar
  14. Krasner SW, Amy G (1995) Jar test evaluations of enhanced coagulation. J Am Water Works Assoc 87:93–107Google Scholar
  15. Krasner SW et al (2006) Occurrence of a new generation of disinfection byproducts. Environ Sci Technol 40:7175–7185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kulkarni P, Chellam S (2010) Disinfection by-product formation following chlorination of drinking water: artificial neural network models and changes in speciation with treatment. Sci Total Environ 408:4202–4210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Magazinovic RS, Nicholson BC, Mulcahy DE, Davey DE (2004) Bromide levels in natural waters: its relationship to levels of both chloride and total dissolved solids and the implications for water treatment. Chemosphere 57:329–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Muellner MG, Wagner ED, McCalla K, Richardson SD, Woo Y-T, Plewa MJ (2006) Haloacetonitriles vs. regulated haloacetic acids: are nitrogen-containing DBPs more toxic? Environ Sci Technol 41:645–651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. National Health and Medical Research Council (2010) Australian drinking water guidelines.
  20. Obolensky A, Singer PC (2005) Halogen substitution patterns among disinfection byproducts in the information collection rule database. Environ Sci Technol 39:2719–2730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Obolensky A, Singer PC (2008) Development and interpretation of disinfection byproduct formation models using the information collection rule database. Environ Sci Technol 42:5654–5660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Platikanov S, Tauler R, Rodrigues PMSM, Antunes MCG, Pereira D, Esteves da Silva JCG (2010) Factorial analysis of the trihalomethane formation in the reaction of colloidal, hydrophobic, and transphilic fractions of DOM with free chlorine. Environ Sci Pollut Res 17:1389–1400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Plewa MJ, Wagner ED, Richardson SD, Thruston AD, Woo Y-T, McKague AB (2004) Chemical and biological characterization of newly discovered iodoacid drinking water disinfection byproducts. Environ Sci Technol 38:4713–4722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Richardson SD, Plewa MJ, Wagner ED, Schoeny R, DeMarini DM (2007) Occurrence, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity of regulated and emerging disinfection by-products in drinking water: a review and roadmap for research. Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res 636:178–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Roccaro P, H-s C, Vagliasindi FGA, Korshin GV (2013) Modeling bromide effects on yields and speciation of dihaloacetonitriles formed in chlorinated drinking water. Water Res 47:5995–6006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rodrigues PMSM, Esteves da Silva JCG, Antunes MCG (2007) Factorial analysis of the trihalomethanes formation in water disinfection using chlorine. Anal Chim Acta 595:266–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rodriguez MJ, Serodes JB, Levallois P (2004) Behaviour of trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids in a drinking water distribution system. Water Res 38:4367–4382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sadiq R, Rodriguez MJ (2004) Disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water and predictive models for their occurrence: a review. Sci Total Environ 321:21–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Simpson KL, Hayes KP (1998) Drinking water disinfection by-products: an Australian perspective. Water Res 32:1522–1528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Singer PC (1999) Humic substances as precursors for potentially harmful disinfection by-products. Water Sci Technol 40:25–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Singh KP, Rai P, Pandey P, Sinha S (2012) Modeling and optimization of trihalomethanes formation potential of surface water (a drinking water source) using Box-Behnken design. Environ Sci Pollut Res 19:113–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Trofe TW, Inman GW, Johnson JD (1980) Kinetics of monochloramine decomposition in the presence of bromide. Environ Sci Technol 14:544–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. USEPA (1999) Alternative disinfectants and oxidants. EPA guidance manual, 4-1–4-41Google Scholar
  34. USEPA (2011) Information Collection Rule (ICR).
  35. Uyak V, Toroz I (2007) Investigation of bromide ion effects on disinfection by-products formation and speciation in an Istanbul water supply. J Hazard Mater 149:445–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Uyak V, Yavuz S, Toroz I, Ozaydin S, Genceli EA (2007) Disinfection by-products precursors removal by enhanced coagulation and PAC adsorption. Desalination 216:334–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Westerhoff P, Song R, Amy G, Minear R (1998) NOM’s role in bromine and bromate formation during ozonation. J Am Water Works Assoc 90:82–94Google Scholar
  38. White MC, Thompson JD, Harrington GW, Singer PC (1997) Evaluating criteria for enhanced coagulation compliance. J Am Water Works Assoc 89:64–77Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kalinda Watson
    • 1
  • Maria José Farré
    • 2
  • James Birt
    • 3
  • James McGree
    • 4
  • Nicole Knight
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Smart Water Research Centre and School of EnvironmentGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.Advanced Water Management CentreThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of Society and Design, Bond UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  4. 4.School of Mathematical Sciences, Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations