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Water Res. 2015 Feb 1;69:162-172. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.11.017. Epub 2014 Nov 21.

Seasonal and temporal patterns of NDMA formation potentials in surface waters.

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Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University, Anderson, SC 29625, USA.
Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University, Anderson, SC 29625, USA. Electronic address:


The seasonal and temporal patterns of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation potentials (FPs) were examined with water samples collected monthly for 21 month period in 12 surface waters. This long term study allowed monitoring the patterns of NDMA FPs under dynamic weather conditions (e.g., rainy and dry periods) covering several seasons. Anthropogenically impacted waters which were determined by high sucralose levels (>100 ng/L) had higher NDMA FPs than limited impacted sources (<100 ng/L). In most sources, NDMA FP showed more variability in spring months, while seasonal mean values remained relatively consistent. The study also showed that watershed characteristics played an important role in the seasonal and temporal patterns. In the two dam-controlled river systems (SW A and G), the NDMA FP levels at the downstream sampling locations were controlled by the NDMA levels in the dams independent of either the increases in discharge rates due to water releases from the dams prior to or during the heavy rain events or intermittent high NDMA FP levels observed at the upstream of dams. The large reservoirs and impoundments on rivers examined in this study appeared serving as an equalization basin for NDMA precursors. On the other hand, in a river without an upstream reservoir (SW E), the NDMA levels were influenced by the ratio of an upstream wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent discharge to the river discharge rate. The impact of WWTP effluent decreased during the high river flow periods due to rain events. Linear regression with independent variables DOC, DON, and sucralose yielded poor correlations with NDMA FP (R(2) < 0.27). Multiple linear regression analysis using DOC and log [sucralose] yielded a better correlation with NDMA FP (R(2) = 0.53).


NDMA formation potential (FP); Nitrosamines; Precipitation; Seasonal and temporal patterns; Sucralose; Wastewater influence

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