Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dairy-impacted wastewater is a source of iodinated disinfection byproducts in the environment

April 14, 2016

Iodinated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are among the most toxic DBPs, but they are not typically measured in treated water. Iodinated DBPs can be toxic to humans, and they also have the potential to affect aquatic communities. Because of the specific use of iodine and iodine-containing compounds in dairies, such livestock operations can be a potential source of iodinated DBPs in corresponding receiving water bodies. DBPs [trihalomethanes (THMs), including iodinated THMs] were measured within dairy processing facilities (milking and cheese manufacturing) and surface waters that receive dairy-impacted effluents [either directly from the dairy or through wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs)] in three areas of the United States (California, New York, and Wisconsin). Iodo-THMs comprised 15−29% of the total THMs in surface water near WWTP effluents that were impacted by dairy waste and 0−100% of the total THMs in samples from dairy processing facilities.