Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1998

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Taha F. Marhaba

Second Advisor

Robert Dresnack

Third Advisor

R. Lee Lippincott


One of the concerns facing the drinking water industry is the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) during the disinfection stage of treatment. Organic DBPs form during the oxidation of the natural organic matter (NOM) found in natural waters by the application of a disinfectant, such as chlorine.

NOM is composed of two aggregate materials, humic and non-humic substances. It is unknown which portions of NOM react with the oxidant to form DBPs. Methods used to predict the formation of DBPs include total organic carbon (TOC) analysis and Trihalomethane Formation Potential (THMFP), which are time consuming and do not give specific information. This research explored the use of fluorescence spectroscopy to identify the humic portion of NOM and to predict the formation of DBPs.