American Society of Civil Engineers

Secondary Benefits of Aquifer Storage and Recovery: Disinfection By-Product Control

by James P. McQuarrie, (Process Engr., Black and Veatch, 11900 East Cornell, Suite 300, Aurora, CO) and Kenneth Carlson, M.ASCE, (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372. E-mail:

Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 129, No. 5, May 2003, pp. 412-418, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The potential of biological processes during aquifer storage to reduce disinfection by-products (DBP), and DBP precursors were examined under controlled conditions. Finished water treated by conventional water treatment practice was pumped into a sand media column for up to 34 days of residence time. Two experiments were conducted where the finished water was chlorinated or ozonated prior to injection. Chlorination of water withdrawn from simulated aquifer storage conditions resulted in reduced formation of trihalomethane (THM) concentrations for all three treated water types. Ozonation of finished water resulted in a 70% decrease in TTHM formation. Aquifer storage of finished water resulted in a 26–28% reduction in TTHM formation and the removal of preformed THM species was as high as 40%. Overall, aquifer storage of chlorinated finished water resulted in a 44% reduction in TTHM formation when additionally chlorinated after withdrawal. Bromate formed during ozonation was reduced by approximately 54%. This study indicates that the sequencing of chlorination or ozonation with respect to aquifer storage and recovery operations can impact DBP formation.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Drinking water
Water treatment