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Dynamic Changes of Disinfection Byproduct Precursors following Exposures of Microcystis aeruginosa to Wildfire Ash Solutions

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journal contribution
posted on 30.06.2017, 00:00 by Kuo-Pei Tsai, Habibullah Uzun, Tanju Karanfil, Alex T. Chow
Wildfires can elevate dissolved organic matter (DOM) levels due to ash input and algal growth in source waters, and consequently impacting disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation in finished water; however, it remains unclear how quality and quantity of overall allochthonous and autochthonous DOM as well as associated DBP formation are changed during an entire algal life cycle. Microcystis aeruginosa was cultured in the medium containing low and high concentrations [10% and 65% (v/v)] of black and white ash water extracts (BE and WE) to study dynamic changes of carbonaceous, nitrogenous, and oxygenated DBP precursors during algal growth. DOM was characterized by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy and chlorination/chloramination-based DBP formation experiments. Throughout the entire experiment, C-DBP precursors in the control ranged from 2.41 to 3.09 mmol/mol-C. In the treatment with 10% BE, the amount of C-DBP precursors decreased from 6.8 to 3.0 mmol/mol-C at initial-exponential phase then increased to 4.2 mmol/mol-C at death phase. The same trend was observed for O-DBP precursors. However, these dynamic changes of C- and O-DBP precursors exhibited opposite patterns in 65% extracts. Similar patterns were also observed in the WE treatments. On the other hand, N-DBP precursors continuously declined in all treatments. These results indicate that postfire ash loading and algal bloom stage may significantly affect DBP formation in source water.