GE Analytical Instruments

How Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analysis relates to disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and the corresponding Canadian guidelines

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Municipalities throughout Canada are challenged to balance the risks presented by microbial pathogens and by-products from the disinfectant used to destroy these microbes. The byproducts, called Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs), form from the interaction of the naturally occurring organic matter (NOM) in a treatment plant’s source water and its disinfection process. NOM is typically measured as total organic carbon (TOC). DBPs, such as trihalomethanes (THMs), continue to form as water passes through a plant’s distribution system and contact time increases. Therefore, it is said that the TOC measured in a plant today can be measured as DBPs tomorrow.

Canadian Health Drinking Water Guidelines include an acceptable level for THMs and an upcoming guideline for another DBP, HAA5 — a group of five haloacetic acids. The current and upcoming guidelines will help further reduce health risks associated with DBPs. These changes will make meeting the drinking water guidelines more difficult, and in turn make understanding a plant’s TOC values and the correlation to DBP levels even more critical.

Customer comments

  1. By Deeksha Deeksha on

    Total organic carbon (TOC) indirectly measures the total amount of organic substances present in water for pharmaceutical use. The molecules of organic matter in water are oxidised to produce carbon dioxide which is then measured in an instrument and from the result, the concentration of carbon in the water is calculated. The determination of carbon in water may be made either on-line (in the line of supply of the water) or offline For more details visit our site: