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Nationwide Assessment of Nitrosamine Occurrence and Trends (PDF)

  • Author(s): Russell, Caroline G.; Blute, Nicole K.; Via, Steve; Wu, Xueying; Chowdhury, Zaid
  • Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
  • Issue Date: March 2012
  • Volume / Number: 104, Number 3
  • Page(s): E205-E217
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5942/jawwa.2012.104.0037
  • Product Number: JAW_0075569
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Abstract

Nitrosamine data reported from the first rounds of samples collected under the second Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Rule (UCMR2) and the Ontario Drinking Water Surveillance Program were reviewed to assess the frequency and magnitude of occurrence and the effect of disinfectant type and other treatment factors on reported nitrosamine concentrations. Initial monitoring data reveal that N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was detected in drinking water at concentrations higher than the UCMR2 minimum reporting level (MRL) of 2 ng/L in 1 of every 10 samples. Other nitrosamines (e.g., N-nitrosodiethylamine, N-nitroso-di-n-butylamine, N-nitrosopyrrolidine, and N-nitrosomethylethylamine) were rarely detected at levels above their MRLs. NDMA was primarily detected in systems using chloramines, with more than two thirds of all chloraminated water systems detecting NDMA in at least one sample. Follow-up survey results from 45 water systems participating in UCMR2 and six water systems from Ontario, Canada, generally followed expected trends based on the literature. NDMA occurrence was more frequent and concentrations were higher in water systems having long contact times with chloramines. A comparison of maximum-residence-time distribution system samples with entry point samples indicates that NDMA concentrations may increase in a chloraminated distribution system if precursors have not fully reacted at the entry point.

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