Fluctuations of dissolved organic matter in river used for drinking water and impacts on conventional treatment plant performance

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Volk, C., L.A. Kaplan, J. Robinson, B. Johnson, L. Wood, H.W. Zhu, and M. LeChevallier. 2005. Environmental Science and Technology 39(11):4258–4264.

doi: 10.1021/es040480k


Natural organic matter (NOM) in drinking water supplies can provide precursors for disinfectant byproducts, molecules that impact taste and odors, compounds that influence the efficacy of treatment, and other compounds that are a source of energy and carbon for the regrowth of microorganisms during distribution. NOM, measured as dissolved organic carbon (DOC), was monitored daily in the White River and the Indiana-American water treatment plant over 22 months. Other parameters were either measured daily (UV-absorbance, alkalinity, color, temperature) or continuously (turbidity, pH, and discharge) and used with stepwise linear regressions to predict DOC concentrations. The predictive models were validated with monthly samples of the river water and treatment plant effluent taken over a 2-year period after the daily monitoring had ended. Biodegradable DOC (BDOC) concentrations were measured in the river water and plant effluent twice monthly for 18 months. The BDOC measurements, along with measurements of humic and carbohydrate constituents within the DOC and BDOC pools, revealed that carbohydrates were the organic fraction with the highest percent removal during treatment, followed by BDOC, humic substances, and refractory DOC.