Low trihalomethane formation during managed aquifer recharge with chlorinated desalinated water

Anat Bernstein, Raz Studny, Vinolia Shyntychea, Daniel Kurtzman, Yonatan Ganot, Yoram Katz, Berhane Abrha Asfaw, Kaori Sakaguchi-Söder, Christoph Schüth, Hagar Siebner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Trihalomethanes (THMs) are toxic disinfection by-products, formed in the reaction of chlorine with organic matter. This work aimed to study THM formation during a unique case study of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) with chlorinated desalinated seawater. THM formation was tested in the field, along a 3.0 m deep vadose zone gallery. Two small-scale experiments were conducted in the site, with untreated and with bromide spiked desalinated seawater. These were accompanied by a large-scale, ~1-month long operational MAR event. In the small-scale experiments, THM concentrations were shown to increase with bromide concentrations, with increasing dominance of the brominated species. Nevertheless, concentrations remained within the single μg/L range, which is an order of magnitude lower than drinking water regulations. Such low THM concentrations were also determined in the large-scale event. In both cases, THM formation occurred in the ponding water, without significant formation or degradation in the upper 3.0 m of the vadose zone. This study shows that MAR with chlorinated (<0.5 mg/L) desalinated seawater through sandy infiltration basins does not pose a threat to drinking water quality at this site.

Original languageEnglish
Article number711
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Aquifer storage
  • Disinfection by-products
  • MAR
  • THMs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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