Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 18, pp 18583–18592 | Cite as

The occurrence of THMs and AOX in drinking water of Shandong Province, China

  • Zhenxing Yao
  • Shaohua Sun
  • Mingquan Wang
  • Qinghua Zhao
  • Ruibao JiaEmail author
Research Article


Trihalomethanes (THMs) and adsorbable organic halides (AOX) were generated in chlorinated water. The purpose of the study was to provide a comprehensive picture of concentration distribution, the seasonal and different water source variability of THMs and AOX. Data for THMs, AOX, and other physico-chemical parameters were from 538 samples of 16 drinking water work through a 3-year sampling program which was conducted in Shandong province with typical temperate and monsoonal climate. Selected samples were considered with the influence of factors such as season, water source, and disinfectant. The THMs and AOX concentration of the samples disinfected with chlorine ranged from 2.1–105 μg/L and 11–238 μg/L, respectively. The THMs and AOX concentration of the samples disinfected chlorine dioxide ranged from N.D.–47.6 μg/L and N.D.–102 μg/L, respectively. The median concentration of THMs and AOX of samples disinfected with chlorine were 35 μg/L and 61 μg/L, much higher than chlorine dioxide, respectively. Ninety-two percent of the samples disinfected with chlorine and all samples disinfected with chlorine dioxide met Chinese drinking water standard for THMs. The ratio of tribromethane (TBM) to THMs of samples disinfected with chlorine was 19%, lower than chlorine dioxide 42%. Bromine substitution factor (BSF) of THMs and initial concentration of bromide showed weak correlation, and the Spearman correlation coefficient was 0.38. THMs and AOX concentrations showed noticeable seasonal variations with the highest median concentrations in spring. The levels of THMs and AOX in drinking water varied with different water sources and followed the order local reservoir > Yellow River reservoir > ground water. The survey results complement the database of THMs and AOX occurrence in drinking water in China, and offer a significant reference data for setting disinfections by-products occurrence in countries or regions with similar climate around the world.


Trihalomethanes Adsorbable organic halides Seasonal variations Different water sources 



Adsorbable organic halides




Bromine substitution factor




Disinfections by-products


Dichloroacetic acid


Trichloroacetic acid


Dissolved organic matter








Total organic matter


Funding information

This study was financially supported by the National Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2012ZX07404-003, 2017ZX07502003-06).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhenxing Yao
    • 1
  • Shaohua Sun
    • 1
  • Mingquan Wang
    • 1
  • Qinghua Zhao
    • 1
  • Ruibao Jia
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Shandong Province City Water Supply and Drainage Water Quality Monitoring CenterJinanChina

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