Providing safe drinking water is a growing challenge. While methods for the disinfection of bacteria, protozoa and viruses in drinking water are well established, there are certain chemical contaminants of concern resistant to traditional water treatment methods which are being detected in drinking water, and many have the potential to impact public health.
An example is 1,4-dioxane, a stabilizing compound and a frequently-detected contaminant in groundwater aquifers due to past improper disposal practices by industry. While generally short-lived in the air, high solubility in water makes it difficult to remove 1,4-dioxane from contaminated groundwater. As a result, 1,4-dioxane is known to linger as large plumes of contamination which can migrate through groundwater aquifers and potentially be collected at extraction wells.