The elemental composition and particle size distribution of suspended particles in raw water, treated water, and distributed water were determined to understand the behavior of particles during the water treatment-distribution process. The weight of suspended particles collected on a 0.6-µm filter was 1.1 times (raw water), 1.4 times (treated water), and 1.5 times (distributed water) that collected on a 2.7-μ;m filter, suggesting that smaller particles may remain after conventional water treatment. Organic suspended particles were removed less efficiently than inorganic suspended particles. After sand filtration, the Al content in the fixed suspended solids (FSS) markedly increased, indicating that either a small percentage of aluminium floc passed through during sand filtration or dissolved aluminum precipitated after sand filtration. The Mn and Fe concentrations increased after chlorination. The percentages of carbon and nitrogen in the volatile suspended solids (VSS) were roughly the same in the raw, treated, and distributed waters. The carbon/nitrogen/phosphate/VSS ratios indicated that the VSS of the suspended particles consisted of organic matter originating from microorganisms. The major constituents of the FSS in the treated and distributed waters were compounds of Fe, Al, Ca, Mg, and Mn, but these compounds accounted for only 16% or less of the FSS in raw water, indicating the existence of Si compounds. In distribution pipes, the total suspended solids concentration, especially the FSS concentration, was higher than that of water just after treatment. The Fe concentration in distributed water increased, probably due to oxidation and rusting of iron pipes.

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