Among known but unregulated disinfection by-products (DBPs), several nitrogenous species (N-DBPs) have been found in drinking waters. While concentrations of N-DBP are much lower than those of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), their potential toxicity is higher. In this study the relationships between the formation of N-DBPs and the changes in NOM caused by the chlorination of raw Ancipa water quantified by the use of differential absorbance and fluorescence indexes were investigated. Very strong relationships were found between selected N-DBPs (i.e. trichloronitromethane and dichloroacetonitrile) and the proposed spectroscopic indexes that were previously developed to quantify the changes in natural organic matter (NOM) during chlorination at varying reaction conditions (chlorine dose, reaction time and temperature) and the generation of DBPs. Obtained results clearly indicate that the changes in NOM absorbance and fluorescence are fundamental descriptors of the formation of both commonly controlled halogenated DBPs and N-DBPs. This approach may be suitable for real time monitoring of emerging N-DBPs and for studying their formation pathways.

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