Controlling Zebra Mussels through reduction of disinfection byproduct precursorsEPA Grant Number: U914732
Title: Controlling Zebra Mussels through reduction of disinfection byproduct precursors
Investigators: DiTommaso, Jill E.
Institution: The State University of New York at Buffalo
EPA Project Officer: Broadway, Virginia
Project Period: January 1, 1995 through January 1, 1996
Project Amount: $68,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Engineering
The objective of this research project is to determine how enhanced coagulation through pH depression can be used to reduce disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursors, in addition to controlling zebra mussels. Most drinking water treatment plants in the Great Lakes region add chlorine or other disinfectants at water intakes to control zebra mussels. Recent research at the University of Buffalo (UB) has found that mildly acidic water (with a pH of approximately 6.5) will kill zebra mussel veligers, thereby controlling the mussels. This discovery is significant because the addition of chlorine before treatment can result in the formation of DBPs; many of these are suspected carcinogens, and are the focus of increasingly stringent regulations. This research will include SternPAC, a polymerized aluminum coagulant, as well as more traditional coagulants such as aluminum. Current work at UB suggests that SternPAC may be more efficient than aluminum, due to the presence of particulate matter in the coagulant. In addition, this research will explore the impacts of aluminum chemistry on coagulation of natural organic matter, particularly the effects of pH changes and seasonal temperature fluctuations. Water from the Niagara River will be used in my experiments as a representative sample of a low humic water. A natural water source higher in humic content will be used for comparison. With the cooperation of the Erie County Water Authority, there are plans to run pilot-scale tests and laboratory jar tests to determine if laboratory results can be extrapolated to the pilot scale.