Source of OrganicsOrganic 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.
Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
Polychlorinated bi phenyls (PCB)
Ethylene dibromide (EDB)
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.