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Transformation of Dissolved Organic Matter in a Novel Groundwater Recharge System with Reclaimed Water

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A novel process, enhanced direct injection-well recharge system (EnDir), can overcome the technical difficulties during the application of conventional surface spreading and has been developed to recharge groundwater with reclaimed water. In this study, removal and transformation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the system were investigated in laboratory-scale experiments. Results demonstrated that dissolved organic carbon and trihalomethane formation potential values could be reduced from 6.54 ± 1.30 mg/L and 267.9 ± 24.3 µg/L to 1.59 ± 0.64 mg/L and 104.5 ± 10.2 µg/L, respectively, as a result of DOM biodegradation in the aerobic short-term vadose soil treatment. Fluorescence spectra showed that aromatic protein-like substances and soluble microbial byproducts could be removed, to a great extent, in the soil system. Despite different removal efficiencies of DOM in different molecular weight fractions, the residual DOM was composed mainly of fulvic acid-like and humic acid-like substances, with molecular weights of 500 Da to 1 kDa.

Keywords: dissolved organic matter; fluorescence spectroscopy; groundwater recharge; molecular weight distribution; reclaimed water

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Division of Environmental Science & Technology, Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, P. R. China

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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