The aim of this study was to characterize and compare natural organic matter (NOM) removal and disinfection by-product (DBP) formation in the drinking water treatment train that can give valuable information, while optimizing the treatment process. In this study, the determination of the hydrophobic (HPO), transphilic (THP) and hydrophilic (HPI) NOM distribution was used in parallel with more related drinking water parameters to compare the selected waters. High-performance size-exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) was applied to evaluate the relative changes of molecular size distribution of NOM in different treatment steps and source waters. This showed that the quantity, speciation and activated carbon adsorption of DBPs could vary not only by water quality, but also by the distribution and properties of the organic molecules that comprise NOM.

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