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Title: The mobilisation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from the coal tar lining of water pipes
Author: Maier, Matthias
ISNI:       0000 0001 3616 8911
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1998
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Coal-tar was commonly used as an internal lining for corrosion protection of water pipes from the 19th century up to the present. It is reported that these coatings can lead to elevated concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the distributed drinking water. The aim of the project was to investigate the processes and mechanisms responsible for the occurrence of these substances in drinking water distribution systems. The results presented in this project showed that the occurrence of PAHs in a distribution system was linked to the presence of the disinfectants chlorine and chlorine dioxide. This dependence could be shown in the laboratory, in a pilot-scale pipe rig as well as in field investigations in a real distribution system. Generally, hostile environmental conditions for microbiological activity such as stagnation periods and anaerobic conditions could be identified as the most important factors to favour the occurrence of PAHs in the drinking water. It was clearly shown that disturbances in the hydraulic regime such as water hammers, operation of valves and rapid increases in flow velocity can result in enhanced PAH concentrations. Immediately after stagnation periods PAH concentrations increased to levels which exceeded the prescribed concentrations of the EC-guideline of 200 ng/l. In laboratory experiments it was demonstrated that the coal-tar is a substrate for the growth of biofilms. Batch experiments and reactor experiments showed that the removal of biofilm resulted in a higher leaching rate of the PAHs into the water. Experiments concerning the potential for the formation of chlorinated PAHs as disinfection by-products from the PAHs prevalent in water distributed through coal-tar lined pipes showed that their occurrence is very unlikely under conditions prevalent in water distribution systems. A theory is presented which indicates that particles adhering to the pipe walls which can be sometimes embedded in the biofilm matrix represent a major factor in the process of the mobilisation of PAHs. The destabilisation of the biofilm matrix by hostile environmental conditions (disinfectants, aerobic conditions, oxygen limitation during stagnation periods) or enhanced shear forces on the biofilm, results in the release of particles highly contaminated with PAHs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Corrosion protection; Drinking water