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CONTROL OF MICROBIAL CONTAMINANTS AND DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS (DBPS): COST AND PERFORMANCE
Adams*, J Q. AND R M. Clark*. CONTROL OF MICROBIAL CONTAMINANTS AND DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS (DBPS): COST AND PERFORMANCE. Chapter 14, Clark, R.M. and Boutin, B.K. (ed.), Controlling Disinfection By-Products and Microbial Contaminants in Drinking Water (EPA/600/R-01/110). USEPA, Cincinnati, OH, (2002).
The USEPA is in the process of developing a sophisticated regulatory strategy in an attempt to balance the complex trade-offs in risks associated with controlling disinfectants and disinfection by-products (D/DBPs) in drinking water. EPA first attempted to control DBPs in 1974, when trihalomethane (THM) formation in drinking water was identified as a by-product of chlorination. Based on the toxicologic data from the 1970s, chloroform (one of the THMs) was labeled as a suspect carcinogen. Epidemiological studies also suggeted a human risk. Because of these suspected health effects and the potential that a large number of drinking water consumers would be exposed to these by-products, a Total Trihalomethane (TTHM) Regulation was promulgated on 11/29/79, at a level of 0.10 mg/L. Since that time, many other objectionable by-products of chlorination have been identified as well. This chapter will review the current status of disinfection practices in the US, the conditions that cause the formation of DBPs, and discuss the various treatment techniques and associated costs for both controlling DBPs and ensuring microbial safety.