Natural organic matter (NOM) has been shown to be one of the major parameters that affects water quality and treatment processes. NOM reduces the effectiveness of water treatment by interfering with the flocculation process, makes treatment with activated carbon and membrane filtration less efficient and is a precursor to the formation of disinfectant by-products (DBP). Furthermore, NOM acts as a food source for micro-organisms resulting in bacterial regrowth in distribution systems. These concerns have resulted in the removal of NOM from raw water being of prime concern for water authorities. The elevated levels of NOM in Australian water supplies have resulted in priority being given to research into methods of removing NOM by the Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC). Early work showed that some types of anion exchange resins were very effective for NOM removal and that while resin column systems were rapidly fouled by waters with high concentration of suspended matter, a stirred system had no such limitation. This lead to the development of a resin with a high adsorptive capacity for NOM by the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in collaboration with the AWQC which will be manufactured under licence by Orica Australia Pty Ltd. This resin then formed the basis for a novel process for NOM removal developed by the AWQC in collaboration with Orica Australia Pty Ltd. Both the MIEX® resin and process have been patented internationally. This paper outlines the process, gives examples of some of the benefits and provides recent results from an operating pilot plant with a capacity 160 kL/day.

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