Effect of activated sludge treatment on the formation of Nnitrosamines under different chloramination conditions

Tanju Karanfil , Xiaolu Zhang , Daekyun Kim , Carsten Prasse , Xin Yang , Chao Chen , Bin Xu , Xing-Fang Li


Received March 01, 2022,Revised , Accepted April 27, 2022, Available online May 08, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 242-252

Municipal wastewater discharge is considered as one of the main sources of N-nitrosamine precursors which can impact the qualities of downstream source waters and reclaimed wastewaters for potable reuse. Nsingle bondNitrosamine precursors can be removed to various degrees during biological wastewater treatment (e.g., the activated sludge (AS) process). So far, little is known about the impact of the AS process on N-nitrosamine formation under practical disinfection condition (e.g., uniform formation condition (UFC)). In this study, N-nitrosamine UFC from selected model compounds, sewage components (i.e., blackwaters and greywaters) and sewage samples were comprehensively investigated during batch AS treatment tests. Nsingle bondNitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation from the tested precursor compounds (i.e., trimethylamine (TMA) and sumatriptan (SMTR)) under UFC chloramination decreased mostly after 6 or 24 hr treatment with different types of AS (i.e., domestic rural AS, domestic urban AS, and textile AS), and the reductions in NDMA UFC were comparable to their NDMA formation potential (FP) reductions. In urine and feces blackwaters, NDMA UFC increased after 6 or 24 hr treatment with the domestic (i.e., rural and urban) AS, while NDMA FP decreased substantially. The increases in NDMA UFC after AS treatment was presumably attributed to the removal of bulk organic matters (e.g., dissolved organic carbon (DOC)) which favored NDMA formation under UFC. On the other hand, in laundry greywaters having relatively abundant DOC, N-nitrosamine UFC was less affected by DOC removal before or after AS treatment, but decreased to similar degrees with N-nitrosamine FP. In sewage samples collected from wastewater treatment plants, N-nitrosamines UFC tended to increase or remain constant during AS treatment, despite the decreases in their FPs. These results suggest that biological wastewater treatment (e.g., the AS process) may not effectively reduce N-nitrosamine formation (e.g., measured under UFC) partially because the concurrent removal of bulk organic matters (e.g., DOC) favored N-nitrosamine formation in s econdary effluents.

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