Influence of Bacterial Extracellular Polymeric Substances on the Formation of Carbonaceous and Nitrogenous Disinfection Byproducts

2016-02-20T08:54:34Z (GMT) by Zhikang Wang Junsung Kim Youngwoo Seo
Considering the regulatory presence of residual chlorine in water distribution systems, untreated organic matter may not be the sole contributor to disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation, given the presence of microbial biofilm with extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). This study investigated the influence of bacterial EPS on the formation of carbonaceous DBPs (C-DBPs) and nitrogenous DBPs (N-DBPs), reacting chlorine with Pseudomonas strains that produce different quantities and composition of EPS. When biomass is reacted in excess to chlorine, both C-DBPs and N-DBPs were produced without preference for speciation. However, under an excess of chlorine compared to biomass, increased EPS content led to enhanced formation of DBPs. The DBP yield of haloacetic acids (HAAs) was higher than that of trihalomethanes where dichloroacetic acid was dominant in HAA species. Additionally, chemical composition of EPS influenced the yields of DBPs. The N-DBP yield from P. putida EPS was two times higher than that of P. aeruginosa EPS, which suggested that higher organic nitrogen content in EPS contributes to higher N-DBP yield. Moreover, time-based experiments revealed that DBP formation from biomass occurs rapidly, reaching a maximum in less than four hours. Combined results suggest that bacterial EPS have significant roles in both the formation and fate of DBPs.