Organic matter (OM) in drinking water treatment is a common impediment responsible for increased coagulant and disinfectant dosages, formation of carcinogenic disinfection-by products, and microbial re-growth in distribution system. The inherent heterogeneity of OM implies the utilization of advanced analytical techniques for its characterization and assessment of removal eﬃciency. Here, the application of simple ﬂuorescence excitation-emission technique to OM characterization in drinking water treatment is presented.
The ﬂuorescence data of raw and clariﬁed water was obtained from 16 drinking water treatment works. The reduction in fulvic-like ﬂuorescence was found to signiﬁcantly correlate with OM removal measured with total organic carbon (TOC). Fluorescence properties, fulvic- and tryptophan-like regions, were found to discriminate OM fractions of diﬀerent removal eﬃciencies. The results obtained in the study show that ﬂuorescence spectroscopy provides a rapid and accurate characterization and quantiﬁcation of OM fractions and indication of their treatability in conventional water treatment.