This study assessed the impact of chemical coagulation using alum on the removal of three endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs; bisphenol A, clofibric acid and estriol) and nine pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs; acetaminophen, carbamazepine, diclofenac, gemfibrozil, ketoprofen, naproxen, pentoxifylline, sulfamethoxazole and sulfachloropyridazine). The impact on natural organic matter (NOM) fractions as determined using liquid chromatography–organic carbon detection (LC–OCD; total dissolved organic carbon (DOC), hydrophobic DOC, biopolymers, humic substances, building blocks, low molecular weight neutrals and acids) was also examined. Three test surface waters were included: Lake Ontario, Grand River and Otonabee River water (Ontario, Canada). Gemfibrozil concentrations were reduced in both Otonabee and Grand River waters. Reductions were noted for carbamazepine and (inconsistently) for acetaminophen, and estrone appeared to increase in concentration in Grand River water with increasing alum doses. NOM removal was primarily attributed to the humic fraction, with small reductions in biopolymers in all of the waters studied.

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