Multiple lines of evidence for indicating factors associated with the sources, transport, and fate of chloroform and three other trihalomethanes (THMs) in untreated groundwater were revealed by evaluating low-level analytical results and logistic regression results for THMs. Samples of untreated groundwater from wells used for drinking water were collected from 1996-2007 from 2492 wells across the United States and analyzed for chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform by a low-level analytical method implemented in April 1996. Using an assessment level of 0.02 μg/L, chloroform was detected in 36.5% of public-well samples and 17.6% of domestic-well samples, with most concentrations less than 1 μg/L. Brominated THMs occurred less frequently than chloroform but more frequently in public-well samples than domestic-well samples. For both public and domestic wells, THMs occurred most frequently in urban areas. Logistic regression analyses showed that the occurrence of THMs was related to nonpoint sources such as urban land use and to point sources like septic systems. The frequent occurrence and concentration distribution pattern of THMs, as well as their frequent co-occurrence with other organic compounds and nitrate, all known to have anthropogenic sources, and the positive associations between THM occurrence and dissolved oxygen and recharge indicate the recycling of water that contains THMs and other anthropogenic contaminants.
Additional publication details
Factors associated with sources, transport, and fate of chloroform and three other trihalomethanes in untreated groundwater used for drinking water