Drinking water treatment, water treatment, spray aeration for trihalomethane removal, trihalomethane formation, thms, dbps, trihalomethane, disinfection by products, spray aeration, spray air stripping, trihalomethane removal, total trihalomethanes, chloroform, bromoform


Historically, chlorination has been widely utilized as a primary and secondary disinfectant in municipal water supplies. Although chlorine disinfection is effective in inactivating pathogenic microbes, the use of chlorine creates the unintentional formation of regulated chemicals. On January 4, 2006, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated the Stage 2 Disinfectants/Disinfection by-product rule (DBPR) that focuses on public health protection by limiting exposure to four trihalomethanes (THM) and five haloacetic acids (HAA5), formed when chlorine is used for microbial pathogen control. This thesis examines post-aeration TTHM formation when employing spray-aeration processes to remove semi-volatile TTHMs from chlorinated potable water supplies. A bench scale air stripping unit was designed, constructed and operated to evaluate spray aeration for the removal of the four regulated trihalomethane (THM) species from potable drinking water including bromodichloromethane, bromoform, dibromochloromethane, chloroform. The study was conducted using finished bulk water samples collected from two different water treatment facilities (WTFs) located in Oviedo and Babson Park, Florida. Both treatment plants treat groundwater; however, Oviedo's Mitchell Hammock WTF (MHWTF) supply wells contain dissolved organic carbon and bromide DBP precursors whereas the Babson Park WTF #2 (BPWTF2) supply well contains dissolved organic carbon DBP precursors but is absent of bromide precursor. Three treatment scenarios were studied to monitor impacts on total trihalomethane (TTHM) removal and post-treatment (post-aeration) TTHM formation potential, including 1) no treatment (non-aerated control samples), 2) spray aeration via specially fabricated GridBee® nozzle for laboratory-scale applications, 3) spray aeration via a commercially available manufactured BETE® nozzle used for full-scale applications. Select water quality parameters, chlorine residual, and total trihalomethane concentrations were monitored throughout the study. The GridBee® spray nozzle resulted in TTHM removals ranging from 45.2 ± 3.3% for the BPWTF2 samples, and 37.7 ± 3.1% for the MHWTF samples. The BETE® spray nozzle removed 54.7±3.9% and 48.1±6.6% of total trihalomethanes for the Babson Park and Mitchell Hammock WTF samples, respectively. The lower percent removals at the MHWTF are attributed to the detectable presence of bromide and subsequent formation of hypobromous acid in the samples. Post spray aeration TTHM formation potentials were monitored and it was found that the MHWTF experienced significantly higher formation potentials, once again due to the presence of hypobromous acid which led to increases in overall TTHM formation over time in comparison with the Babson Park WTF #2 TTHM formation samples. In addition, chlorine residuals were maintained post spray aeration treatment, and initial chlorine residual and trihalomethane concentrations did not significantly impact overall spray nozzle performance. Among other findings, it was concluded that spray nozzle aeration is a feasible option for the Babson Park WTF #2 for TTHM compliance. For Oviedo's Mitchell Hammock WTF spray aeration was successful in removing TTHMs, however it was not effective in maintaining DBP rule compliance due to the excessive nature of DBP formation in the water samples. This study was not intended to serve as an assessment of varying nozzle technologies; rather, the focus was on the application of spray aerators for TTHM removal and post-formation in drinking water systems.


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Graduation Date





Duranceau, Steven


Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (M.S.Env.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering








Release Date

May 2015

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)