Concentrations of disinfection by-products in swimming pool following modifications of the water treatment process: An exploratory study

The formation and concentration of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in pool water and the ambient air vary according to the type of water treatment process used. This exploratory study aimed at investigating the short-term impact of modifications of the water treatment process on traditional DBP levels (e.g., trihalomethanes (THMs), chloramines) and emerging DBPs (e.g., Halonitromethanes, Haloketones, NDMA) in swimming pool water and/or air. A sampling program was carried to understand the impact of the following changes made successively to the standard water treatment process: activation of ultraviolet (UV) photoreactor, halt of air stripping with continuation of air extraction from the buffer tank, halt of air stripping and suppression of air extraction from the buffer tank, suppression of the polyaluminium silicate sulfate (PASS) coagulant. UV caused a high increase of Halonitromethanes (8.4 fold), Haloketones (2.1 fold), and THMs in the water (1.7 fold) and, of THMs in the air (1.6 fold) and contributed to reducing the level of chloramines in the air (1.6 fold) and NDMA in the water (2.1 fold). The results highlight the positive impact of air stripping in reducing volatile contaminants. The PASS did not change the presence of DBPs, except for the THMs, which decrease slightly with the use of this coagulant. This study shows that modifications affecting the water treatment process can rapidly produce important and variable impacts on DBP levels in water and air and suggests that implementation of any water treatment process to reduce DBP levels should take into account the specific context of each swimming pool.

Authors: Tardif R, Rodriguez M, Catto C, Charest-Tardif G, Simard S. ; Full Source: Journal of Environmental Science (China). 2017 Aug; 58:163-172. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2017.05.021. Epub 2017 May 20.