2000/3 + 2016/17: Balaklava (South Australia). Chloral Hydrate, Dichloroacetic Acid, pH

Balaklava (South Australia) – Chloral Hydrate

Highest Chloral Hydrate levels recorded by SA Water 2000-2012: 0.088mg/L Balaklava 18/3/02.

Chloral hydrate breaches in SA Water network 2000-2012 (4)

20/3/00 Balaklava  Chloral Hydrate 35.9ug/L

26/3/01 Balaklava  Chloral Hydrate 49.3ug/L

18/3/02 Balaklava  Chloral Hydrate 88ug/L

17/3/03 Balaklava  Chloral Hydrate 58ug/L

Chloral hydrate is a disinfection by-product, arising from chlorination of water containing naturally occurring organic material (NOM). Chloral hydrate is a sedative and hypnotic drug. Long-term use of chloral hydrate is associated with a rapid development of tolerance to its effects and possible addiction as well as adverse effects including rashes, gastric
discomfort and severe renal, cardiac and hepatic failure.

2004 Australian Drinking Water Guideline: Trichloroacetaldehyde (chloral hydrate): 0.02mg/L

2011 Australian Drinking Water Guideline: Trichloroacetaldehyde (chloral hydrate): 0.1mg/L

Based on health considerations, the concentration of chloral hydrate in drinking water
should not exceed 0.1 mg/L. Action to reduce chloral hydrate is encouraged, but must not compromise disinfection, as non-disinfected water poses significantly greater risk than chloral hydrate. (2011 ADWG)

Balaklava (South Australia) – Dichloroacetic Acid

Balaklava 18/6/01: 106ug/L

Australian Drinking Water Guideline: 100ug/L

“Chloroacetic acids are produced in drinking water as by-products of the reaction between chlorine and naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids. Concentrations reported overseas range up to 0.16mg/L and are typically about half the chloroform concentration. The chloroacetic acids are used commercially as reagents or intermediates in the preparation of a wide variety of chemicals. Monochloroacetic acid can be used as a pre-emergent herbicide, dichloroacetic acid as an ingredient in some pharmaceutical products, and trichloroacetic acid as a herbicide, soil sterilant and antiseptic.” Australian Drinking Water Guidelines – National Health and Medical Research Council…

There are no epidemiological studies of TCA carcinogenicity in humans. Most of the human health data for chlorinated acetic acids concern components of complex mixtures of water disinfectant by-products. These complex mixtures of disinfectant by-products have been associated with increased potential for bladder, rectal, and colon cancer in humans [reviewed by Boorman et al. (1999); Mills et al. (1998)].” Ref: tmp/Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) CASRN 76-03-9 IRIS US EPA.htm

Balaklava  (South Australia) – pH (alkaline)

Average pH: 2016 July -2017 June: 8.9 pH units

Based on the need to reduce corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings, the pH of
drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.

New concrete tanks and cement-mortar lined pipes can significantly increase pH and
a value up to 9.2 may be tolerated, provided monitoring indicates no deterioration in
microbiological quality.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of water. It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, greater than 7 is alkaline, and less than 7 is acidic.

One of the major objectives in controlling pH is to minimise corrosion and encrustation in pipes and fittings. Corrosion can be reduced by the formation of a protective layer of calcium carbonate on the inside of the pipe or fitting, and the formation of this layer is affected by pH, temperature, the availability of calcium (hardness) and carbon dioxide. If the water is too alkaline (above pH 8.5), the rapid deposition and build-up of calcium carbonate that can result may eventually block the pipe.

When pH is below 6.5 or above 11, the water may corrode plumbing fittings and pipes. This, however, will depend on other factors such as the material used, the concentration and type of ions in solution, the availability of oxygen, and the water temperature. Under some conditions, particularly in the presence of strong oxidising agents such as chlorine, water with a pH between 6.5 and 7 can be quite corrosive.

Chlorine disinfection efficiency is impaired above pH 8.0, although the optimum pH for monochloramine disinfectant formation is between 8.0 and 8.4. In chloraminated supplies chlorine can react with ammonia to form odorous nitrogen trichloride below pH 7.

Chlorination of water supplies can decrease the pH, while it can be significantly raised by lime leached from new concrete tanks or from pipes lined with asbestos cement or cement mortar. Values of pH above 9.5 can cause a bitter taste in drinking water, and can irritate skin if the water is used for ablutions.