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Methods of Treatment for Water Contaminants

Organics

Source of Organics

Organic matter makes up a significant part of the soil, therefore water-soluble organic compounds are present in all water supplies. Organic matter is reported on a water analysis as carbon, as it is in the TOC (total organic carbon) determination. The following is a list of organics, which regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1986.


Endrin
Trichloroethane
Lindane
Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (dioxin)
Methoxychlor
Vydate
Toxaphene
Simazine
Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
TP
Polychlorinated bi phenyls (PCB)
Aldicarb
Atrazine
Chlordane
Phthalates
Dalapon
Acrylamide
Diquat
Dibromochloropropane (DBCP)
Endothall
Dichloropropane
Glyphosate
Pentachlorophenol
Carbofuran
Pichloram
Alachlor
Dinoseb
Epichlorohydrin
Ethylene dibromide (EDB)
TolueneDibromomethane
Adipates
Xylene Hexachlorocyclopentadiene

Organics come from three major sources: (1) the breakdown of naturally occurring organic materials, (2) domestic and commercial chemical wastes, and (3) chemical reactions that occur during water treatment processes. The first source is comprised of humic materials, microorganisms, and petroleum-based aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Organics derived from domestic and commercial chemical wastes include wastewater discharges, agricultural runoff, urban runoff, and leaching from contaminated soils. Organic contaminants formed during water treatment include disinfection by-products such as THM's (Trihalomethanes), or undesirable components of piping assembly such as joint adhesives.

Treatment of Organics

Activated carbon is generally used to remove organics, color, and taste-and-odor causing compounds. The contact time and service flow rate dictate the size of the carbon filter. When removing organics, restrict flow rates to 2 gpm per square foot of the filter bed. Reverse osmosis will remove 98 to 99% of the organics in the water. Ultrafiltration (TJF) and nanofiltration (NF) have both been proven to remove organics. Anion exchange resin also retains organics, but periodically needs cleaning.

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