Roles and Knowledge Gaps of Point-of-Use Technologies for Mitigating Health Risks from Disinfection Byproducts in Tap Water: A Critical Review

Abstract:

Due to rising concerns about water pollution and affordability, there is a rapidly-growing public acceptance and global market for a variety of point-of-use (POU) devices for domestic uses. However, the efficiencies and mechanisms of POU technologies for removing regulated and emerging disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are still not systematically known. To facilitate the development of this field, we summarized performance trends of four common technologies (i.e., boiling, adsorption, membrane filtration, and advanced oxidation) on mitigating preformed DBPs and identified knowledge gaps. The following highest priority knowledge gaps include: 1) data on DBP levels at the tap or cup in domestic applications; 2) certainty regarding the controls of DBPs by heating processes as DBPs may form and transform simultaneously; 3) standards to evaluate the performance of carbon-based materials on varying types of DBPs; 4) long-term information on the membrane performance in removing DBPs; 5) knowledge of DBPs' susceptibility toward advanced redox processes; 6) tools to monitor/predict the toxicity and diversity of DBPs formed in waters with varying precursors and when implementing different treatment technologies; and 7) social acceptance and regulatory frameworks of incorporating POU as a potential supplement to current centralized-treatment focused DBP control strategies. We conclude by identifying research needs necessary to assure POU systems protect the public against regulated and emerging DBPs.

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Last updated on 01/31/2022