Assessment of Chemical and Biological Techniques to Evaluate the Quality of Water from Pilot Scale Direct Potable Reuse Treatment Facilities

Academic Research Topics in Environmental Measurement and Monitoring
Oral Presentation

Prepared by , C. Hoppe-Jones, S. Beitel, M. Park, I. Lopez, E. Clevenger, S. Snyder

Contact Information: [email protected]; 760-705-0828


The goal of Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) is to ultimately produce safe water that is suitable for drinking; however, as DPR projects continue to gather attention, it raises questions about the monitoring process. With the quickly changing climate, water managers and regulators are often left to make decisions based off of assumption of risk rather than recommendations made from scientific assessments. This presentation intends to show that bulk organic parameters, like Total Organic Carbon (TOC) measurement, is too broad to accurately reflect exposure to small fractions of organics that may be harmful or toxic in a given water and seek to address the gaps in the current understanding of DPR monitoring frameworks.

The purpose of our research is to provide insight about methods to characterize water quality from source, drinking, and reuse waters at multiple different locations throughout the United States that represent a diverse geography and source organic quality. Methods discussed include the use of bulk organics parameters (i.e. EEM/TOC), Non-target Analysis (NTA), size exclusion chromatography (SEC)-TOC, and targeted analysis of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) using a Direct Water Injection (DWI) and Online-Solid Phase Extraction (O-SPE) method. In addition to the chemical analysis, a variety of bioassays were applied to evaluate the effectiveness of the advanced treatment processes in removing specific classes of compounds without creating more harmful disinfection byproducts. Data indicates that both RO and UV are effective at reducing estrogen, glucocorticoid, and P53 activity below limits of detection. TOC analysis exhibited 94% removal and fluorescence demonstrated 98.9% removal across the advanced treatment processes evaluated (MF to RO to UV). Each method performed can be useful tools in demonstrating treatment effectiveness.