Science Inventory

The Impact of Commercially Treated Oil and Gas Produced Water Discharges on Bromide Concentrations and Modeled Brominated Trihalomethane Disinfection Byproducts at two Downstream Municipal Drinking Water Plants in the Upper Allegheny River, Pennsylvania, USA

Citation:

Landis, M., A. Kamal, K. Kovalcik, C. Croghan, G. Norris, AND A. Bergdale. The Impact of Commercially Treated Oil and Gas Produced Water Discharges on Bromide Concentrations and Modeled Brominated Trihalomethane Disinfection Byproducts at two Downstream Municipal Drinking Water Plants in the Upper Allegheny River, Pennsylvania, USA. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. Elsevier BV, AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, 542(2016):505-520, (2016).

Impact/Purpose:

The National Exposure Research Laboratory′s (NERL) Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (HEASD) conducts research in support of EPA′s mission to protect human health and the environment. HEASD′s research program supports Goal 1 (Clean Air) and Goal 4 (Healthy People) of EPA′s strategic plan. More specifically, our division conducts research to characterize the movement of pollutants from the source to contact with humans. Our multidisciplinary research program produces Methods, Measurements, and Models to identify relationships between and characterize processes that link source emissions, environmental concentrations, human exposures, and target-tissue dose. The impact of these tools is improved regulatory programs and policies for EPA.

Description:

In 2010, a dramatic increase in the levels of total trihalomethane (THM) and the relative proportion of brominated species were observed in finished water at several Western Pennsylvania water utilities (PDW) using the Allegheny River as their raw water supply. An increase in bromide (Br-) concentrations in the Allegheny River was implicated to be the cause of the elevated water disinfection byproducts. This study focused on quantifying the contribution of Br- from a commercial wastewater treatment facility (CWTF) that solely treats wastes from oil and gas producers and discharges into the upper reaches of the Allegheny River, and its impact on two downstream PDWs. In 2012, automated daily integrated samples were collected on the upper reaches of the Allegheny River at six sites during three seasonal two-week sampling campaigns to characterize Br- concentrations and river dispersion characteristics during periods of high and low river discharges. The CWTF discharge resulted in significant increases in Br- compared to upstream baseline values in PDW raw drinking water intakes during periods of low river discharge. During high river discharge, the assimilative dilution capacity of the river resulted in lower absolute halide concentrations, but significant elevations Br- concentrations were still observed at the nearest downstream PDW intake over baseline river levels. On days with active CWTF effluent discharge the magnitude of bromide impact increased by 39 ppb (53%) and 7 ppb (22%) for low and high river discharge campaigns, respectively. Despite a general declining trend in Allegheny River Br- (2009-2014), a significant impact of discharges from CWTF and coal-fired power plants to bromide concentrations during the low river discharge regime at downstream PDW intakes was observed, resulting in a small modeled increase in total THM (3%), and an estimated positive shift (41-47%) to more toxic brominated THM analogs. The lack of available coincident measurements of THM, precursors, and physical parameters limited the interpretation of historical trends.

URLs/Downloads:

Science of the Total Environment   Exit

LANDIS_ET_AL_BROMIDE_STUDY_PAPER_APPENDICES_RESUBMISSION.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 977.24 KB,  about PDF)

LANDIS_ET_AL_BROMIDE_STUDY_PAPER_RESUBMISSION_2.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 1196.047 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 01/15/2016
Record Last Revised: 11/04/2015
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 310075

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

HUMAN EXPOSURE AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES DIVISION

ENVIRONMENTAL CHARACTERIZATION & APPORTIONMENT BRANCH