Differences in the nature of soluble organic matter were measured for various full-scale wastewater treatment processes. Conventional activated sludge, pure oxygen activated sludge, biofiltration, granular activated carbon, and tertiary sand filtration were evaluated. Effluent soluble organic matter was analyzed by ultrafiltration for the apparent molecular weight distribution of soluble organic carbon and UV-absorbing material. The effects of annual season, secondary treatment process, and tertiary treatment process upon the properties of the effluent soluble organic matter were statistically significant at the 99% level. Effluent properties from the various treatments were sufficiently different to support the concept of the selection of appropriate treatments to minimize the effluent concentration of specific fractions of the soluble organic material as required for specific water reuse applications.

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