By Andrew Glover, Real Tech Inc.Organic matter in water is the source of many water quality challenges. Some of the problems organics can cause include: providing food for unwanted microbiological growth; causing the formation of disinfection by-products when mixed with chlorine and other disinfectants; consuming coagulant chemicals and generally complicating many of the chemical processes involved in water treatment; clogging membranes and filters increasing backwashing and carbon regeneration requirements; and many more. Given all the challenges caused by organics in water it is no surprise that organics removal is considered one of the most important roles of the water and wastewater treatment plants.
One aspect of organics removal systems that is often overlooked is instrumentation. All organics removal processes require a method to measure their effectiveness. There are several organics parameters available to choose from including UV254, TOC, DOC, BOD, and COD. All of them can be performed readily in a laboratory. However, testing grab samples in the lab is not enough to properly control an organics removal process. For proper control, organics need to be monitored in real-time both before and after the organics removal process. Several companies have recently produced instruments that allow real-time monitoring of some of the most common organics testing parameters. Only UV254 and TOC instruments have really had any success.
So which parameter is right for your organics removal process -UV254 or TOC? This decision requires a better understanding of the instrumentation itself.