Environmental monitoring and assessment

Determination of volatile organic compounds pollution sources in malaysian drinking water using multivariate analysis.

PMID 16967208


A field investigation was conducted at all water treatment plants throughout 11 states and Federal Territory in Peninsular Malaysia. The sampling points in this study include treatment plant operation, service reservoir outlet and auxiliary outlet point at the water pipelines. Analysis was performed by solid phase micro-extraction technique with a 100 microm polydimethylsiloxane fibre using gas chromatography with mass spectrometry detection to analyse 54 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of different chemical families in drinking water. The concentration of VOCs ranged from undetectable to 230.2 microg/l. Among all of the VOCs species, chloroform has the highest concentration and was detected in all drinking water samples. Average concentrations of total trihalomethanes (THMs) were almost similar among all states which were in the range of 28.4--33.0 microg/l. Apart from THMs, other abundant compounds detected were cis and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, trichloroethylene, 1,2-dibromoethane, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, chlorobenzene, 1,4-dichlorobenzene and 1,2-dichloro - benzene. Principal component analysis (PCA) with the aid of varimax rotation, and parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) method were used to statistically verify the correlation between VOCs and the source of pollution. The multivariate analysis pointed out that the maintenance of auxiliary pipelines in the distribution systems is vital as it can become significant point source pollution to Malaysian drinking water.