This study was undertaken to evaluate existing conventional treatment processes, as opposed to specific membrane processes, to minimize haloacetic acid (HAA) formation, by examining in detail the characteristics of natural organic matter (NOM) size, structure and functionality. Through these evaluations, both size exclusion and charge interaction mechanisms, based on NOM size and functionality analyses, were also used to evaluate the performance of each process in conjunction with NOM structural effects. Such integrated evaluations (beyond a simple combination of the characterizations of NOM size, structure and functionality) were shown to be useful for the selection of advanced alternative membrane processes in order to maximize the removal of hydrophilic NOM fractions, which have a relatively high HAA producing potential, as conventional drinking water treatment processes examined in this study are unable to remove the hydrophilic NOM fraction effectively.

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