A device for fully automated on-site process monitoring and control of trihalomethane concentrations in drinking water


An instrument designed for fully automated on-line monitoring of trihalomethane concentrations in chlorinated drinking water is presented. The patented capillary membrane sampling device automatically samples directly from a water tap followed by injection of the sample into a gas chromatograph equipped with a nickel-63 electron capture detector. Detailed studies using individual trihalomethane species exhibited method detection limits ranging from 0.01-0.04μgL-1. Mean percent recoveries ranged from 77.1 to 86.5% with percent relative standard deviation values ranging from 1.2 to 4.6%. Out of more than 5200 samples analyzed, 95% of the concentration ranges were detectable, 86.5% were quantifiable. The failure rate was less than 2%. Using the data from the instrument, two different treatment processes were optimized so that total trihalomethane concentrations were maintained at acceptable levels while reducing treatment costs significantly. This ongoing trihalomethane monitoring program has been operating for more than ten months and has produced the longest continuous and most finely time-resolved data on trihalomethane concentrations reported in the literature.

Publication Title

Analytica Chimica Acta