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Sources and Fate of Nitrosodimethylamine and Its Precursors in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants

David L. Sedlak, Rula A. Deeb, Elisabeth L. Hawley, William A. Mitch, Timothy D. Durbin, Sam Mowbray and Steve Carr
Water Environment Research
Vol. 77, No. 1, Emerging Micropollutants in Treatment Systems (Jan. - Feb., 2005), pp. 32-39
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25045835
Page Count: 8
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Sources and Fate of Nitrosodimethylamine and Its Precursors in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants
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Abstract

To assess the occurrence and fate of nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and its precursors in wastewater treatment plants, samples from wastewater treatment plants and industrial sources were analyzed for NDMA, total NDMA precursors, and dimethylamine (DMA). The median concentration of NDMA in untreated wastewater was approximately 80 ng/L, with maximum concentrations up to 790 ng/L presumably occuring because of sources unrelated to domestic wastewater. Concentrations of DMA in untreated wastewater ranged from approximately 50 to 120 μg/L and accounted for a majority of the NDMA precursors. The removal of NDMA during secondary biological treatment exhibited considerable variability, with overall removal ranging from 0 to 75%. In contrast, removal of NDMA precursors and DMA generally exceeded 70%. The median concentration of NDMA in secondary effluent before disinfection was 46 ng/L. Although DMA was removed during secondary treatment, other NDMA precursors in wastewater effluent will result in formation of additional NDMA upon disinfection with chloramines.

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