The presence of humic substances in row water causes one of the main problems in drinking water purification. If disinfection is carried out by chlorine, then humic substances (HS) may become dangerous due to formation of carcinogen materials, like trihalomethanes (THMs) and chlorinated phenol derivatives.
The most typical disinfection by-products are trichloromethane, dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid. Concentration of THMs depends on the amount and quality of natural organic matter in the water. Removing HS from drinking water and analysing their solubility properties have an obvious importance in the prevention of cancer. Different technologies are available, like membrane filtration, activated carbon adsorption, ozonization etc. Activated carbon (AC) adsorption is a widely used method in drinking water plants for removing organic materials from row water.
Researchers were working on improve the removal of THM precurors with a combined method using microorganisms. “Effective microorganisms” (EM) consist of many species of bacteria like lactic acid bacteria, photosynthetic bacteria, nitrogen fixing bacteria. Aerobic and anaerobic species live together in an anaerobic environment helping each other. The bacteria were isolated from the nature and they are not harmful, and their use was found efficient as well as safe in different areas. The EM mixture is applied for instance in agriculture, waste management, waste water treatment and remediation, protecting natural waters. They degrade and transform organic materials into easily available nutrients for plants. EMs roll back pathogen microbes and produce numerous bioactive compounds like organic acids, antioxidants, enzymes and vitamins. EM enabled composts to provide more rapidly crop-available nutrition than its natural compost.
Researchers determined the efficiency of humic substances removal from water by granulated AC and investigate the effect of EM on degradation of HS. You may get detailes of the research in this research journal.