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Water Management
Potentially Harmful Naturally Occurring Organic Compounds

Those involved in regulating and treating the Nation's waters have recognized the potentially harmful affects caused by the reaction of naturally occurring organic compounds with some of the disinfectants used to treat the water, such as chlorine and ozone. Over a period of about two decades, the USGS developed and tested techniques for the isolation and characterization of such compounds. USGS is helping water managers to understand the factors that control the amount and reactivity of organic matter in a particular water supply so that solutions to the problems caused by its presence can be developed. For example, knowledge of seasonal variation of organic content of various water sources may be used to change the source of a water supply with the season.


Aiken, G. and Cotsaris, E., 1995, Soil and Hydrology: Their effect on natural organic matter: Journal of the American Water Works Association, Vol. 87, pp. 36-45.

For additional information and references see the project description, Organic Carbon Migration in Aquatic Environments, or contact:

George R. Aiken
U.S. Geological Survey, 3215 Marine St., Boulder, CO 80303
Telephone: 303-541-3036

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Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey
National Research Program || Last Updated: 05/09/2006
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