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J Water Health. 2015 Sep;13(3):838-47. doi: 10.2166/wh.2015.258.

Impact of groundwater surface storage on chlorination and disinfection by-product formation.

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Environment and Safety Division, RSEG/EIRSG, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu 603 102, India E-mail:


The change in water quality arising from the open storage of groundwater (GW) and its impact on chlorination and chlorination by-product formation were investigated. Water quality descriptors, such as temperature, pH, chlorophyll, and dissolved oxygen contents of GW undergo substantial alteration when stored in a reservoir. Dissolved organic content (DOC) measured in the two water sources studied, i.e., GW and open reservoir water (RW), varied from 0.41 mg/L to 0.95 mg/L and 0.93 mg/L to 2.53 mg/L, respectively. Although DOC demonstrated wide variation, UV absorbance at 254 nm (UVA254) values for GW (0.022-0.067) and RW (0.037-0.077) did not display reciprocal variations. The chlorine demand (CD) of RW was always higher than that of GW for the corresponding sampling period. Average trihalomethane (THM) formation for RW was 50-80% higher compared to GW and thus poses an enhanced health risk. Appreciable amounts of bromide present in these water sources (0.15-0.26 mg/L in GW and 0.17-0.65 mg/L in RW) have resulted in the non-selective distribution of the four THM species. The formation of more toxic brominated THM due to chlorination of these near-coast drinking water sources must be regarded as a decisive factor for the choice of water disinfection regime.

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