Halogenated Non-Volatile Organic Discharges from Industrial and Municipal Wastewater Effluents

Massachusetts Division of Water Pollution Control, 9/1/86-8/31/89

PIs: Reckhow & Ostendorf
Students: R.V. Rajan, Mike Billa, David Popielarczyk, Chris Hull & Diana King

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the TOX loading to receiving water bodies from a municipal wastewater treatment plant and an industrial plant discharging substantial quantities of organic chlorination byproducts. The concentrations and transport of TOX compounds in the water column and sediments was also assessed. A mathematical model was developed to predict the transport of these TOX compounds to the sediments in the fully mixed (far field) region of the flow field. Field data was gathered to calibrate and test the model.

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Additional Background: Halogenated volatile and non-volatile organic chemicals are known to be formed during the disinfection of drinking water and power plant cooling waters. This phenomenon is attributed to the reaction between aqueous chlorine and the low levels of naturally occurring organic matter in such waters. Because many of these halogenated organics (collectively referred to as TOX) have been found to be toxic to aquatic life and mutagenic in the Salmonella (Ames) assay, the chlorination of unpolluted waters has come under attack. Since many municipal wastewater treatment plants chlorinate their relatively organic-rich effluents, the potential for organic halide formation in these systems is much greater. Surprisingly, very little research has been conducted in this area. Pulp and paper mills which practice chlorine bleaching are suspected to contribute substantially to TOX loading in streams. However, data on this source as well as other possible industrial sources of organohalides are similarly scarce.



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