Source of N-nitrosodimethylamine in river waters of the upper Tone River basin in Japan

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the Hirose River and its tributaries, located in the upper Tone River basin, in the Kanto region of Japan, was investigated. NDMA was detected at high levels in the Arato River, one of the tributaries of the Hirose River, at high concentrations (up to 2,100 ng/L). Due to the confluence of the Arato River, NDMA concentration in the Hirose River increased (up to 61 ng/L). The NDMA in the Arato River was due to industrial discharge from a livestock processing plant located near the river. There were three discharges at the plant, with NDMA concentrations of 78, 11, and 33,000 ng/L. The industrial discharges from the livestock processing plant did not contain significant amounts of NDMA precursors on chloramination. On the other hand, sewage effluent was shown to contain NDMA precursors. The amounts of NDMA precursors in the sewage effluent that were rapidly transformed into NDMA were considered to be lower than those slowly transformed into NDMA.

Keywords: Arato River, chloramination, drinking water source, Hirose River, N-nitrosodimethylamine, Tone River basin

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