What are Environmental Contaminants?

There is a growing awareness of chemicals in the world's water supply. Recent research has shown that a wide variety of such chemicals exist at trace concentrations in streams, lakes, rivers and groundwater throughout the world.

The term environmental contaminants refers to harmful chemicals present in soil, air and water. These compounds may come directly from human sources such as industrial manufacturing, agricultural run-off and wastewater discharge - or they may originate from natural sources, such as the taste and odor-causing chemicals in water generated by algae and bacteria blooms.

Key Contaminants


NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine): Potentential Sources

Download a pdf copy of the NDMA factsheet at right.

  • Disinfection of drinking water with chlorine or chloramine
  • Printed cirucuit board manufacturing
  • Rocket testing/manufacturing
  • Pesticide manufacturing
  • Rubber and tire manufacturing


Taste and Odor-Causing Compounds

Download a pdf copy of the Taste and Odor factsheet at right.

  • MIB and geosmin
  • Generated by algae and bacteria blooms in rivers, lakes and reservoirs
  • A growing problem due to increasing phosphorus and nitrogen loads on surface waters
  • Causes water to tase and smell earthy and musty

List of Environmental Contaminants
These compounds can be treated either by ultraviolet (UV) light alone, or by UV light in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide.

  • N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)
  • Taste and odor-causing compounds (eg. MIB and geosmin)
  • Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs)
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • 1,4-Dioxane
  • Fuels and fuel additives (eg. MTBE and BTEX)
  • VOCs (eg. PCE and TCE)
  • Endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs)

Why UV for Environmental Contaminants?

UV disinfection has been successfully implemented by TrojanUV for more than 30 years to disinfect drinking water and wastewater. That same technology has been successfully applied to perform environmental contaminant treatment (ECT) on a large scale.

Simultaneous Disinfection
UV, as part of a multi-barrier system, can act to disinfect and destroy contaminants simultaneously. This is accomplished without the formation of potentially hazardous disinfection by-products - such as the formation of THMs when using chlorine or the formation of bromate when using ozone.

For certain contaminants, UV is the only economical method of treatment. For example, NDMA and 1,4-dioxane cannot be fully treated with membrane technologies (including reverse osmosis), carbon adsorption or air stripping.

Eliminates Residuals
UV also has the added advantage of being a destructive technology that breaks down a variety of contaminants into their safe, elemental components. Other treatment technologies merely transfer the contaminant from one phase to another (eg. air stripping: from water to air) - resulting in a potentially hazardous, contaminant-laden residual that requires further treatment or disposal.

Find out More

Contact us at +1 (888) 220-6118, or email us today.

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