Technical audit for a desalinated water production and distribution system with a bromate concentration problem

The formation of bromates in desalinated water distribution networks is a critical issue, recently the focus of renewed attention in various parts of the Middle East. The causes of bromate formation have already been well identified and solutions were set up in desalinated water production and distribution systems, in particular through the stoppage of seawater electro chlorination and the quality control of reagents. However, the problem reappeared in transfer networks with long residence times.


Seureca carried out a detailed analysis of a desalinated water distribution system with long residence times, where the bromate concentration exceeded permitted levels several times in various points of the network. The study’s goal was to find causes for bromate formation and to propose a reliable long-term solution to solve the problem.

The study involved
• Analysis of the historic data on water quality and residence times in the network;
• An in-depth review of scientific literature and latest research on the subject;
• Complementary analyses;
• Proposal of short- and medium-term solutions;
• Estimation of costs;
• A techno-economic comparison of solutions.

The analysis of the historic data and the review of scientific documents revealed the presence of a catalyst (copper) as the
probable cause in the formation of bromates in the network. Mitigation measures and long-term solutions were proposed based on this explanatory model. The recommended strategy is to prevent the formation of a bromate precursor by replacing the disinfection chemical, rather than treat bromates once already formed.