Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Civil Engineering

Research Sponsor

Dr. Christopher M. Miller

First Reader

Dr. William H. Schneider IV

Second Reader

Dr. Stephen Duirk


The use of chlorine in the disinfection process for drinking water has resulted in the creation of disinfection byproducts in the potable water. These carcinogenic disinfection byproducts (DBP’s) pose a risk to consumers. Traveling through the water distribution system, stagnation of water in plumbing pipes, and the heating of the water in a hot water tank are all responsible for increasing the concentration of DBP’s. In this report, the existing concentrations of trihalomethanes (THM’s) and haloacetic acids (HAA’s) were gathered from the consumer confidence reports (CCR’s) of eight water treatment plants in five Ohio cities. These values were given assumed values of increased concentration due to the additional time to react after exiting the water treatment plant. These values were then used to calculate the chronic daily intake (CDI) for three paths of exposure; ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. The results indicate that Akron is the community with the greatest concentration of DBP’s and Columbus: Parson’s Ave contains the least. The difference in cancer risk between communities utilizing groundwater sources versus surface water sources is significant. The community utilizing a surface water source with the greatest cancer risk is Akron, Ohio with a value of 0.000569 per million. The community utilizing a groundwater source with the greatest cancer risk of DBP’s is Cincinnati: Bolton Water, Ohio with a value of 0.000173 per million. The highest cancer risk within the sample from a surface water source is around 3.3 times the risk from a groundwater source. Cutting shower time from ten minutes to five minutes decreased exposure in both the inhalation and dermal contact pathways. Drinking cold water instead of hot may not be worth the sacrifice.