Ways to Measure Chlorate, Bromate and Perchlorate on Site and In the Lab

One method in particular has been developed that may be used to work to predict the levels of perchlorate, chlorate, and bromate formations in hypochlorite solutions. This web based tool is designed to be able to predict the decomposition of sodium hypochlorite during transit in order to determine the levels of these three contaminants that will be present within the bulk solutions received by the utilities and water treatment plants. Utilizing studies that have been done regarding the formation of these contaminants within the hypochlorite solutions, the chemical rate law was converted into a graphical user interface which served to allow the utilities and water treatment plants to be able to calculate the various formations that would occur as a result of different storage scenarios. The individuals who created this particular program had to generate not only the requisite formulas that would allow this type of program to run, but had to start from the ground up, determining the best way to code the application and then finding an individual to be able to do so for them, as there was no program like this in existence prior to the work done by this group (Keenan, et al., n.d.); while this is not a traditional measurement, it does serve to provide agencies with a means of being able to download the estimated contaminant formations to get an idea of whether or not true measurements of the solution will need to be taken.

Several states have adopted standards determining how many parts per billion of perchlorate that could be present within drinking water, in spite of the fact that there is not yet a federal regulatory standard that has been set in regards to this specific contaminant. Massachusetts has set the standard for drinking water as 2 parts per billion, while California set their drinking water standard at 6 parts per billion; other states have issued advisory levels including Maryland, who has theirs set at 1 part per billion, the standard advisory level, New Mexico has a drinking water screening level, and these numbers continue all the way up to 51 parts per billion for Texas, which is the level at which industrial cleanup is required; other states considered setting a regulatory level but opted to wait until the federal regulation was put in place in order to have a baseline number to work with.

In order to be able to determine what the current levels of perchlorate, bromate, and chlorate are in drinking water, there are two different locations in which these contaminants may be measured: either on site or in a laboratory setting. By reviewing some of these different measuring standards in both locations, it will be possible for this researcher to gain a clear understanding of some of the different methods that may be used in order to work to measure and test for the presence of these contaminants.