Removal of NOM in the different stages of the water treatment process.Environ Int. 2002 Dec; 28(6):457-65.EI
Natural organic matter (NOM) is abundant in natural waters in Finland and in many ways affects the unit operations in water purification. In this study, the organic matter content in water in different stages of a full-scale treatment process over 1 year was measured. The full-scale treatment sequence, studied at the Rusko water treatment plant in Tampere, Finland, consisted of coagulation, flocculation, clarification by sedimentation or flotation, activated carbon (AC) filtration, and disinfection. High-performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) was used for separation to determine changes in the humic substances content during the purification process. In addition, total organic carbon (TOC), KMnO4-number, and UV-absorbance at wavelength 254 nm (UV254) were measured. High molecular weight (HMW) matter was clearly easier to remove in coagulation and clarification than low molecular weight (LMW) matter. Furthermore, depending on the regeneration of the activated carbon filters, activated carbon filtration was effective to a degree but did not remove most of the lowest molecular weight compounds. Significant correlation was established among HPSEC, KMnO4, UV254 absorbance, and TOC. HPSEC proved to be a fast and relatively easy method to estimate NOM content in water and, in fact, gave more information than traditional methods on the type of NOM in a water sample. It also helped the process performance follow-up.