Pre-ozonation altered removal of organic matter during bench or full-scale water treatment through two main effects. First, pre-ozonation directly removed organic matter by mineralization, volatilization and/or stripping reactions, improving removal in comparison to unozonated systems. On the other hand, pre-ozonation decreased the surface charge of floc formed after coagulation with hydrolyzable metal salts, hindering adsorptive removal of the anionic organic molecules by floc surfaces and/or inducing stabilized floc formation; changes that decrease removal in comparison to unozonated systems. The relative importance of the two effects determined whether pre-ozonation enhanced or hindered removal of organic matter. In most water treatment plants pre-ozonation is predicted to have an adverse effect on physical removal of organic matter at ozone doses above about 0.7 mg O3/mg TOC, while enhanced removal may occur if relatively high concentrations of volatile organic matter are present. In ancillary results, pre-ozonation hindered turbidity removal and increased the concentration of coagulant metal residuals in finished drinking water at low coagulant doses.

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