Three different powdered activated carbons were applied in combination with aluminium sulphate to treat a high dissolved organic carbon (DOC) source water with a focus on improving natural organic matter removal. Treated water quality was analysed using absorbance at 254 nm, DOC, trihalomethane formation potential (THM-FP), rapid fractionation, C13 NMR and molecular weight distribution by high performance size exclusion chromatography. Carbon C and B offered equivalent DOC removal but carbon C was considered superior as treated water THM-FP was reduced. It is postulated that an organic fraction around 1000 Daltons is responsible for differences in THM-FP shown in the treated waters.

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