Reconnaissance samplings and characterization of aquatic humic substances at the Yuma Desalting Test Facility, Arizona

Water-Resources Investigations Report 81-42
By: , and 

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Abstract

Smectite clay minerals were found to be the principal compound on the surface of the cellulose-acetate, reverse-osmosis membranes at the Yuma Desalting Test Facility. These clay minerals were not present in the pumped ground water, but were blown into the conveyance canal from adjacent soils. Humic substances from the water and suspended sediments were associated with the clay films on the membrane, but no definitive results concerning their role in fouling were achieved. Microbial fouling is believed to be only a minor aspect of membrane fouling. Chemical and physical changes in humic substances were extensively studied at four points in the water-treatment process. Humic substances accounted for the largest component (over 25 percent) of organic constituents. Humic substances in the canal source water were similar to other aquatic humic substances present in natural waters. During the treatment process, these substances are brominated and decolorized. The effect of these halogenated humic substances on membrane fouling is unclear, but their presence in the reverse-osmosis product water and reverse-osmosis reject brine, along with volatile trihalomethanes, has led to environmental concerns. (USGS)

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Reconnaissance samplings and characterization of aquatic humic substances at the Yuma Desalting Test Facility, Arizona
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 81-42
DOI 10.3133/wri8142
Year Published 1981
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Description vii, 79 p.
Country United States
State Arizona
Other Geospatial Yuma Desalting Test Facility
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