In this study Natural organic matter (NOM) characteristics and variations of catchment samples (brooks and collector lakes) from Western Finland, and drinking water produced from the same catchment were examined. Seasonal and spatial NOM variations were followed by means of DOC and HPLC-SEC with UV and fluorescence detection. NOM decreased from drains to lakes by 35 to 75% and from drains to drinking water by 73 to 94%. Drains had a higher NOM content in summer and a lower NOM content in winter and spring. Lakes showed inverse patterns and had a higher NOM content in winter and spring and a lower NOM content in summer. HPLC-SEC separated 8 molecular weight fractions. In drains the HMW fractions represented up to 80% of the NOM, in lake waters HMW fractions accounted for 50 to 70% of the NOM. In drinking water IMW fractions dominated. Increased NOM in raw water during winter was associated with increased IMW fractions and the appearance of HMW fractions in drinking water, DOC increasing from 1.4 mg C/L in summer to 5.8 mg C/L in winter. SPH-Tryptophan correlated with the dissolved organic nitrogen and DOC of the samples. The drain affected by agriculture generally presented higher SPH-Tryptophan values than the unaffected drain.

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