Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Taha F. Marhaba

Second Advisor

Robert Dresnack

Third Advisor

Hsin Neng Hsieh

Fourth Advisor

R. Lee Lippincott

Fifth Advisor

John R. Schuring


USEPA mandates a control of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in finished drinking water and recommends reduction of natural organic matters (NOM), DBP precursors, to achieve this regulatory goal. Studies relating NOM with DBP include fractionation of water samples, characterization of collected organic fractions, fractions' formation potential tests, and jar or similar tests to remove NOM. This study discussed a current resin fractionation procedure on principle, procedure, and its efficiency when applied to water samples of low NOM (< 5mgIL). The primary objective of this research is to develop a fractionation procedure intended for water of low NOM by carefully applying mass balance concept through each fraction's fractionation and a selection of stable ion exchange resins. A new protocol was presented with triple columns of XAD-8 adsorption resin, one column of AG-MP-50 cationic resin, and another column of WA 10 weak anionic resin in sequence. This protocol was experimented and confirmed for its efficiency (±10% loss of mass) with samples from Canal Road (CR) and Raritan Millstone (RM) surface water treatment plants (WTPs) in central New Jersey. The second objective of this study is to develop a statistical model with a potential of online delineation of organic fractions of NOM. The resulting model based on samples of Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC) WTP in northern New Jersey was applied to predict organic fractions of samples from CR and RM plants. Paired T-test (paired t ratio 1.15 < t critical 2.02) indicated a good correlation between the predicted and actual fraction concentration. Finally, samples of Middlesex Water Company (MWC) were fractionated and Trihalomethane formation potential tests (THMFP) on collected fraction showed hydrophilic matters possessed a higher potential to produce TTHM in finished water than hydrophobic matter. Jar tests indicated while coagulation was effective in removing hydrophobic matter, it may not be optimum for removal of hydrophilic matter.

This study developed an accurate fractionation procedure for low NOM waters. It provided a better understanding of organic matter transformation at different treatment stages and jar test performance on removal of organic materials for the studied sample sets.



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