Insight into mixed chlorine/chloramines conversion and associated water quality variability in drinking water distribution systems


Mixed chlorine/chloramines are common in drinking water distribution systems (DWDSs); however, their transformation and impact on chemical and microbial characteristics are not well understood. We systematically investigated water quality parameters associated with mixed chlorine/chloramine species conversion in 192 samples (including raw, finished, and tap water) collected throughout the year in a city in East China. Various chlorine/chloramine species (free chlorine, monochloramine [NH2Cl], dichloramine [NHCl2], and organic chloramines [OC]) were detected in both chlorinated and chloraminated DWDSs. NHCl2 + OC increased with transport distance along the pipeline network. The maximum proportion of NHCl2 + OC in over total chlorine in tap water reached 66 % and 38 % from chlorinated and chloraminated DWDSs, respectively. Both free chlorine and NH2Cl showed a rapid decay in the water pipe systems, but NHCl2 and OC were more persistent. Correlations between chlorine/chloramine species and physicochemical parameters were established. Models for predicting the sum of chloroform/TCM, bromodichloromethane/BDCM, chlorodibromomethane/CBDM, and bromoform/TBM (THM4) (R2 = 0.56) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) (R2 = 0.65) exhibited greater accuracy based on machine learning tuned with chlorine/chloramine species, particularly NHCl2 + OC. The predominant bacterial communities in mixed chlorine/chloramine systems were those resistant to chlorine or chloramine such as proteobacteria. NH2Cl was the most significant explanatory factor (28.1 %) for the variation in microbial community assemblage in chloraminated DWDSs. Although residual free chlorine and NHCl2 + OC, accounted for a smaller proportion of chlorine species in chloraminated DWDSs, they played an essential role (12.4 % and 9.1 %, respectively) in the microbial community structure.

Authors: Renjie Pan, Tian-Yang Zhang, Zheng-Xiong Zheng, Jian Ai, Tao Ye, Heng-Xuan Zhao, Chen-Yan Hu, Yu-Lin Tang, Jing-Jing Fan, Bing Geng, Bin Xu
; Full Source: The Science of the total environment 2023 Apr 5;163297. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.163297.