Pretreatment of Drinking Water to Control Organic Contaminants and Taste and Odor

  • I. H. Suffet
  • R. J. Baker
  • T. L. Yohe


This paper represents an evaluation of a laboratory study and related literature on pretreatment of drinking water for removal of organic contaminants and taste and odor. Pretreatment may include oxidation, aeration, biodegradation, or powdered activated carbon (PAC). The unit processes described are those used by the majority of water treatment plants in the USA, represented by the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company’s (PSWC) Neshaminy Plant.

In a recent laboratory study, Neshaminy Creek water was spiked with a mixture of 15 low molecular weight, potentially organoleptic or hazardous compounds at low ppb concentrations. The solution was treated with oxidants or PAC, residuals of the test compounds were quantified and percent removal for each compound/treatment combination were calculated.

Laboratory results and the literature indicate that oxidants are ineffective for removing most low molecular weight organic compounds, although exceptions have been reported. All test compounds were removed to some degree by PAC, eight by greater than 90%. Aeration is effective for removing small volatile compounds.


Drinking Water Water Treatment Plant Potassium Permanganate Powdered Activate Carbon Chlorine Dioxide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. H. Suffet
    • 1
  • R. J. Baker
    • 1
  • T. L. Yohe
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Studies InstituteDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Philadelphia Suburban Water Co.Bryn MawrUSA

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