U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Date of this Version



Published in Water Research 38 (2004) 895–902. DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2003.09.040


Haloacetic acids (HAAs), which are formed during the disinfection of drinking waters with chlorine, are regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Stage 1 Disinfectant/Disinfection Byproducts (D/DBP) Rule. Recently, three studies have been reported indicating that low concentrations of HAAs can also be formed during disinfection with chloramines. Methods currently approved for compliance monitoring under the Stage 1 Rule arrest the chlorine-mediated formation of HAAs by adding ammonium chloride, which forms chloramines. Studies were undertaken using an in-process water that favored the formation of HAAs with moderate total organic carbon concentration and high levels of chlorine to investigate the potential formation of HAAs under sample storage conditions. The ammonium chloride-quenched sample did form a small amount of HAAs, but total formation over a period equal to the 14-day sample storage time was less than 2 µg/l, whereas the unquenched samples increased 41 mg/l during the same period. Pour plate studies indicated that chlorinated drinking waters quenched with ammonium chloride are protected from microbial growth, which is an important additional advantage to this preservation scheme. The presence of a combined chlorine residual should prevent microbial degradation of HAAs in samples. These studies support the preservation protocols and the sample storage times promulgated for compliance monitoring under the Stage 1 D/DBP Rule.