Empirical model, Pipe distribution system, Surface characterization, Thermodynamic model, Water quality


This dissertation focuses on copper release in drinking water. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of Cu and Fe corrosion by process water quality was assessed over one year in a field study using finished waters produced from seven different treatment process and eighteen pilot distribution systems (PDSs) that were made from unlined cast iron and galvanized steel pipes, and lined cement and PVC pipes taken from actual distribution systems. Totally seven different waters were studied, which consisted of three source waters: groundwater, surface, and simulated brackish water designated as G1, S1, and RO. With certain pre-established blending ratios, these three waters were blended to form another three waters designated as G2, G3, and G4. Enhanced surface water treatment was CFS, ozonation and GAC filtration, which was designated as S1. The CFS surface water was nanofiltered, which is S2. All seven finished waters were stabilized and chloraminated before entering the PDSs. Corrosion potential was compared qualitatively and quantitatively for all seven waters by monitoring copper and iron release from the PDSs. This dissertation consists of four major parts. (1) Copper corrosion surface characterization in which the solid corrosion products formed in certain period of exposure to drinking water were tried to be identified with kinds of surface techniques. Surface characterization indicated that major corrosion products consists of cuprite (Cu2O) as major underneath corrosion layer and tenorite (CuO), cupric hydroxide (Cu(OH)2) on the top surface. In terms of dissolution/precipitation mechanism controlling the copper concentration in bulk solution, cupric hydroxide thermodynamic model was developed. (2) Theoretical thermodynamic models were developed to predict the copper release level quantitatively based on controlling solid phases identified in part (1). These models are compared to actual data and relative assessment is made of controlling solid phases. (3) Non-linear and linear regression models were developed that accommodated the release to total copper for varying water quality. These models were verified using independent data and provide proactive means of assessing and controlling copper release in a varying water quality environment. (4) Simulation of total copper release was conducted using all possible combinations of water quality produced by blending finished waters from ground, surface and saline sources, which involves the comparison of copper corrosion potentials among reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, enhanced coagulation, lime softening, and conventional drinking water treatment.


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Graduation Date





Taylor, James S.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil and Environmental Engineering








Release Date

May 2004

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic