Spatial and temporal variability in trihalomethane concentrations in the bromine-rich public waters of Perth, Australia

Jessica Stanhope, Gael Davidson, Kimberley McAuley, Angus Cook, Philip Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High concentrations of trihalomethanes (THMs) in public water supplies potentially pose a health hazard, but exposure assessment remains a complex task. To interpret research findings and monitoring data for THMs, it is important to evaluate spatial and temporal variations in both total THM and the individual constituent compounds (including brominated species). We therefore aimed to determine the concentrations, and spatial and temporal variability of concentrations, of THMs public water supplies in Perth, Western Australia, which is known historically to have high brominated THM concentrations. We analysed water samples from 21 water distribution zones around Perth (including Busselton and Bunbury) across different seasons over a period of two years. A total of 250 samples provided a median total THM of 72 µg/L (range of 0–157 µg/L), which falls well within Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines. The concentration of all species, including brominated forms, also fell the World Health Organization’s guidelines. Total THM concentrations were typically higher in spring and summer. A high degree of spatial variability was detected and appears to relate to the source water. Both the temporal and spatial variability in THM concentrations have implications for epidemiological studies, and monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7280
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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