Treatability of Chloro-s-triazines by Conventional Drinking Water Treatment Technologies

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Water Research



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Recent research shows that herbicide atrazine (ATZ), simazine (SIM), and propazine (PROP), as well as their three chlorinated degrades—desethylatrazine (DEA), deisopropylatrazine (DIA), and didealkylatrazine (DDA)—may cause a common toxic effect in terms of endocrine disruption. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently considering a regulatory trigger based on the sum of these concentrations of these six chloro-s-triazines. While limited removal data exists for the parent compounds, little information is available for the degrades formed biologically and/or chemically in the environment and in the treatment plants. It is therefore critical to assess the removal efficiency in a typical water plant of the parent herbicides, as well as the daughter products. In this work, conventional drinking water treatment technologies were evaluated under typical water treatment plant conditions to determine their effectiveness in removing six chloro-s-triazines: ATZ, SIM, PROP, DEA, DIA, and DDA. Experiments were conducted using synthetic solutions prepared by spiking both distilled water and Missouri River water with the study compounds. Two powder activated carbons (PAC)—Calgon WPH and Norit HDB—were shown to be partially effective in removing the studied chloro-s-triazines. Ozonation efficiency varied, depending on different water sources, with respect to the removal of atrazine and didealkylatrazine. Coagulation/flocculation/sedimentation with alum and iron salts, excess lime/soda ash softening, and disinfection by free chlorine were all ineffective methods for removing chloro-s-triazines. It appears that chloro-s-triazine compounds are not readily removed by most conventional drinking water treatment processes, with the exception of use of activated carbon.

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