Pilot plant testing is invaluable for ascertaining the robustness of water treatment processes against raw water quality events such as turbidity and colour spikes, whether it be for stress testing of an existing process or designing of a new process. Unfortunately, the natural occurrence of such events (particularly colour) can be difficult to predict and commercial humic materials generally fail to closely match the indigenous natural organic matter (NOM) present in the raw water. Therefore, it is highly desirable to be able to simulate NOM event conditions. This paper describes a simple brewing method that we developed and used in our recent pilot plant evaluation of a proposed DAF/Ozone/BAC process for drinking water treatment. Using this method we successfully prepared, by using fallen leaves etc. collected from the local catchment area, large quantities of a concentrated NOM stock solution with its specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA), when diluted, very close to the median SUVA of historical NOM events. The brewed solution showed broadly similar NOM characteristics to those of the raw water encountered during the pilot investigation period in terms of molecular weight distribution and fractionation. The coagulation behaviour was also examined for the spiked and non-spiked raw water.

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