Kimbrough DE, Suffet IH.

Castaic Lake Water Agency, Santa Clarita, CA 91350, USA.

Trihalomethanes (THMs), a by-product of the chlorination of natural waters containing dissolved organic carbon and bromide, are the focus of considerable public health concern and regulation due to their potential as a carcinogen by ingestion. This paper presents a promising new water treatment process that lowers the concentration of bromide in drinking water and thus, lowers the THM formation potential. Bromide is oxidized by electrolysis to bromine and then the bromine apparently volatilized. The electrolyzed water, when chlorinated, produces measurably lower amounts of THMs and proportionately fewer brominated THMs, which are of greater public health concern than the chlorinated THMs. Removing bromide should also reduce the formation of other disinfection by-products such as bromate and haloacetic acids