Pilot Studies of the Ozonation/FBT Process for the Control of Disinfection Byproducts in Drinking Water

EPA Grant Number: R826829
Title: Pilot Studies of the Ozonation/FBT Process for the Control of Disinfection Byproducts in Drinking Water
Investigators: Masten, Susan J.
Institution: Michigan State University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: July 15, 1998 through May 14, 2001 (Extended to August 15, 2001)
Project Amount: $424,734
RFA: Drinking Water (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Drinking Water , Water


Improvements in Risk Assessment or Risk Management: The formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) and other disinfection by-products (DBPs) during the disinfection of drinking waters poses a significant health risk as a number of DBPs, including chloroform and dichloroacetic acid, have been shown to be either carcinogenic or potentially carcinogenic. A number of DBPs, including dichloroacetic acid, have also been shown to have subchronic toxicity. Additionally, the production of low molecular weight compounds during ozonation can result in significant bacterial regrowth problems in the distribution system, posing a risk to human health due to the presence of microbial pathogens. We believe that through the use of ozonation combined with biological treatment, a system can be designed that will provide disinfection and bacterial regrowth protection, and therefore safeguard human health.

Many water utilities worldwide are currently using ozonation followed by biological filtration to remove organic matter and to control disinfection by-product precursors in drinking water. For the last three years we have been conducting studies of a recirculating ozonation/biological fluidized bed treatment (FBT) process for the control of DBP precursors in drinking water. The studies have shown that the ozonation/FBT process is potentially much more efficient than conventional combined ozonation/biofiltration processes in terms of the removal of NOM and of the control of DBP precursors in drinking water. The objective of this proposed project is to determine the effect of a wide range of water quality characteristics on the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the combined ozonation/FBT process. The results are expected to demonstrate the applicability of this technology on a national scale.


In the proposed project, we are planning to establish the technical and economicalmerits of this system and to develop the design criteria for ozonation/ fluidized bed treatment process. This will be accomplished through pilot plant studies that will be conducted at several Michigan water treatment plants, including the Monroe, Wyoming, Detroit, and Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plants. The treated water will be monitored for THMFP, UV254, molecular weight distribution, TOC, humic substances (HS), HAAFP, turbidity, and other relevant parameters.

Expected Results:

If technical and economical merits are established, the ozonation/FBR process will be a very attractive alternative to both conventional coagulation and ozonation/biofiltration processes, especially for small water treatment utilities and for larger utilities where space for retrofitting or expansion is limited.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 13 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 3 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

environmental engineering, surface water, biological treatment, naturally occurring organic matter., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Drinking Water, Environmental Engineering, EPA Region, public water systems, lake erie, trihalomethanes, disinfection by-products, monroe, detroit, ann arbor, biological treatment, disinfection byproducts (DPBs), regulated DBP, organic matter, michigan, community water system, fluidized bed treatment, DBP precursors, surface water, huron river, treatment, NOM, microbial risk management, water quality, Wyoming, naturally occurring organic matter, DBP risk management, drinking water contaminants, Region 5, water treatment, DBPs, drinking water system, ozonation, disinfection, THMs

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001
  • Final Report