A modified Assimilable Organic Carbon (AOC) procedure was adopted in conjunction with Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) method to assess the effect of Single Effect Distillation (SED) and Reverse Osmosis (RO) lab-scale systems on the biological stability of industrial water. Industrial water was collected from a local Industrial Water Works, pre-treated with alum coagulation and cartridge filtration, before being subjected to advanced water treatment. The results obtained in this study indicated that AOCs in the SED product water were in the range of 70-80 mg acetate-C/L, while those in the RO product water ranged from 30-40 mg acetate-C/L in the 15-min permeate to 55-65 mg acetate-C/L in the 3-hr permeate. The above findings suggested that product water of both systems were potentially biologically unstable and would likely lead to bacteria regrowth during its distribution and storage. Removal efficiencies of lab-scale RO and SED systems on AOC were as high as 90%, dependent on the concentration of AOC-NOX in the industrial water. The RO system had much higher organic removal efficiencies in terms of AOC and DOC than the SED system. Organics removed from both feed waters were found to be concentrated in the brine water and rejected water in SED and RO systems respectively.

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