Monitoring dissolved organic carbon in surface and drinking waters

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Volk, C., L. Wood, B. Johnson, J. Robinson, H.W. Zhu, L. Kaplan. 2002. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 4(1):43–47.

doi: 10.1039/B107768F


The presence of natural organic matter (NOM) strongly impacts drinking water treatment, water quality, and water behavior during distribution. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations were determined daily over a 22 month period in river water before and after conventional drinking water treatment using an on-line total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer. Quantitative and qualitative variations in organic matter were related to precipitation and runoff, seasons and operating conditions. Following a rainfall event, DOC levels could increase by 3.5 fold over baseflow concentrations, while color, UV absorbance values and turbidity increased by a factor of 8, 12 and 300, respectively. Treated water DOC levels were closely related to the source water quality, with an average organic matter removal of 42% after treatment.