Water contamination is a constant issue to look out for in any city or town’s public water systems. Tap water contains contaminants of some kind at some level, but public water treatment plants help to make the water virtually safe on a regular basis. Just one of the contaminants that water plants keep low include disinfection byproducts, or DBPs.
What Are Disinfection Byproducts?
Disinfection byproducts are contaminants that form due to a chemical reaction between chlorine and organic water deriving from the plant’s natural water source (surface water or groundwater.) There are two main categories of disinfection byproducts that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors and limits: total trihalomethanes (TTHM) and haloacetic acids (HAA5.)
Are DBPs Harmful?
There is actually no evidence as of yet that DBPs have harmful health effects. However, the EPA asserts that drinking water containing DBPs over many years can increase one’s chances of developing cancer and problems with the liver, kidney, and central nervous system.
What Increases DBPs?
Higher levels of organic matter will likely produce more disinfection byproducts in the water treatment plant. Areas that source from groundwater have less organic matter in them, while surface water has higher levels. Surface water is water gathered from rain and snowfall.
How to Reduce DBPs
Several ways to reduce DBPs without compromising water quality include the following:
- Reduce or remove organic matter in source water
- Reduce chlorine concentration
- Change location point of chlorination
- Use a different type of disinfectant
- Aerate the water adequately
- Speed process of water entrance and exit through the system
Is Chlorination of Water Systems Worth It?
Chlorination may have a chemical reaction with matter that produces these byproducts, but it is still well worth using chlorination for disinfecting water systems. Chlorine has effectively killed truly harmful contaminants for centuries, including E. coli, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. Jet Blast Inc. specializes in disinfection by chlorination for municipalities and towns. Contact us for more information!
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