Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological and Environmental Sciences (MSBES)

First Advisor

Soni M. Pradhanang


N-nitrosamines are toxic compounds that have persistently been associated with water treatment processes since the 1970’s. There are currently no federal regulations for N-nitrosamines in drinking water, however few states have established their own guidelines. Many studies have identified major mechanisms of N-nitrosamine formation during water treatment, however a gap in knowledge still exists regarding the formation of select N-nitrosamines from treatment of clean water sources. Performance of such critical research is often an expensive process, leaving many facilities and institutions resorting to other approaches for analysis. In the case of this research, efforts were made to develop a lower-cost, and widely applicable method for N-nitrosamine analysis utilizing standard liquid-liquid extraction techniques, coupled with common GCMS analytics. This study also focused on identifying the formation potential of select N-nitrosamines during treatment of seasonally and spatially varying source water, using a bench top water treatment system. Results from the method development section show that the method was capable of detecting 9 target N-nitrosamines at a concentration of 2 μg/L, suggesting that this method could be applied to N-nitrosamine formation pathway studies. To perform N-nitrosamine analysis in the water treatment study, a lower limit of detection was required, therefore analysis was outsourced to a laboratory at Kagoshima University, Japan. Results from the water treatment section show that the system design did not reduce the likelihood of forming select N-nitrosamines during pre-treatment, and the formation of those N-nitrosamines was significantly dependent on factors such as disinfection contact time, precursors, and source water type. All results from this research will supplement the science of previous N-nitrosamine studies, and promote future N-nitrosamine research as it relates to water treatment.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.