This dissertation reports on research related to novel water treatment and monitoring techniques for sulfide-laden groundwater supplies. The dissertation is divided into several chapters with four core chapters focused on investigations studying a novel water treatment method or monitoring technique. The first investigation assessed the efficacy of multi-pass spray aeration treatment to remove trihalomethanes (THMs) and to reduce the total THM formation potential (TTHMFP) of an aerated water column post-aeration. A recirculating spray aeration pilot unit was constructed to make this assessment. To assess the effect of multi-pass spray aeration on the TTHMFP, water was recirculated through a fabricated spray nozzle for various lengths of time. Results showed that multi-pass spray aeration can remove chloroform, dichlorobromomethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform to below detection levels ( < 0.7 ppb) for the waters investigated. Additionally, spray aeration reduced the TTHMFP of chlorinated water. Results suggest multi-pass spray aeration may be a viable treatment option for some bromide container waters. Results also indicate that multi-pass spray aeration removes bromide from the bulk water in the form of organically bound volatile compounds. The second investigation assessed the efficacy of using pre-existing tray aeration infrastructure to comply with disinfection by-product (DBP) regulations. To assess the efficacy of tray aerators to reduce the concentration TTHMs a pilot tray aerator was constructed. Results showed that after five tray passes (each pass consisting of water being passed over five trays) the concentration of TTHMs was below the detection limit ( < 0.7 ppb) for the water investigated. To assess the efficacy of tray aeration at full-scale, a water treatment plant and the distribution system it serves were monitored for eight months. Results showed an approximate 40 ppb reduction in the TTHM concentration at two on-site monitoring locations and the one off-site monitoring location (initial concentrations being approximately 54 ppb, 60 ppb and 73 ppb, respectively). Results suggest that the utility managing the full-scale system could comply with DBP regulations by using the pre-existing tray aeration infrastructure to reduce formed THMs on-site where regulated haloacetic acids are not predominant. The third investigation assessed the efficacy of using biological activated carbon (BAC) to remove disinfection by-product precursor matter to comply with DBP regulations. To research this method, a pilot scale BAC filter was operated for three independent test runs. In addition, two full-scale WTPs using BAC were monitored over time. Results showed an approximate 40 percent removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) during the three pilot runs and an approximate 55 percent removal of DOC during full-scale monitoring. Results showed that the reduction in DOC reduced the TTHMFP of BAC treated water. Results suggest that BAC treatment could be a viable treatment option to comply with DBP regulations in the sulfide-laden water studied. The fourth investigation assessed the suitability of oxidation reduction potential (ORP) to monitor the effectiveness of an oxidizing media filter used to remove sulfur from a sulfide-laden groundwater. Results showed that ORP was more useful as a measurement technique as compared to free chlorine residual when assessing filter bed health and regeneration effectiveness. It was determined that when the ORP measurement taken from within the oxidative media layer was below 500 mV, the filter bed was not providing treatment, and manganese could be released. Results showed a significant increase in turbidity ( > 2 NTU) and total manganese ( > 0.05 mg/L) occurred when the ORP within the filter bed dropped below 400 mV. More frequent cycling of the filters was found to be an effective treatment option to maintain ORP values above an identified 400 mV operational threshold.


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Graduation Date





Duranceau, Steven


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering









Release Date

February 2018

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)