With increasing focus on the health implications from disinfection by-products (DBP) in drinking waters, appropriate monitoring parameters are required that can give rapid information on the potential of a treated water to form DBPs. Given that the most effective strategy for the reduction of concentrations of DBPs is the removal of their precursor, natural organic matter, parameters that relate to organic concentration and character are the most likely candidates. A project utilising four different treatment procedures applied to common source water was evaluated for DBP formation over three characteristic water quality periods and the link to key monitored parameters evaluated. Results showed that DBP formation was independent of the source water quality or treatment technology applied but was correlated to treated water dissolved organic carbon, and more strongly to the UV absorbance at 254 nm.

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