Chowdhury S. Occurrences and changes of disinfection by-products in small water supply systems. Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Dec 20;190(1):32. doi: 10.1007/s10661-017-6410-8.
The small water supply systems (WSSs) often report high concentrations of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water. In this study, occurrences of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada, were investigated from 441 WSSs for a period of 18 years (1999-2016). The WSSs were divided into groundwater (GWP) and surface water (SWP) systems, which were further classified into eight sub-groups (P1-P8) based on the population served (≤ 100; 101-250; 251-500; 501-1000; 1001-3000; 3001-5000; 5001-10,000; and 10,000+, respectively). The DBPs with probable and possible carcinogenic forms were estimated. Overall, 31.1% of WSSs were GWP, in which averages of THMs and HAAs were 32.2 and 27.7 μg/L, respectively, while the SWP had averages of THMs and HAAs of 97.6 and 129.2 μg/L, respectively. The very small WSSs (P1-P3) of GWP had averages of THMs and HAAs in the ranges of 29.1-43.5 and 15.8-64.3 μg/L, respectively. The P1-P3 of SWP had averages of THMs and HAAs in the ranges of 92.6-112.8 and 108.0-154.0 μg/L, respectively, which often exceeded the Canadian guideline limits. If the samples represented the populations homogenously, the total populations exposed to THMs or HAA5 above the guideline values would be in the range of 132.08-181.38 in thousands (30.3-41.6% of total populations). The probable and possible carcinogenic forms of THMs in GWP and SWP were in the ranges of 4.8-48.8 and 4.4-7.0% of THMs, respectively. In HAAs, carcinogenic forms were in the ranges of 82.6-98.4 and 97.6-98.7%, respectively. The findings indicated that the SWP might need further attention to better protect human health.