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Fourth IWA Specialty Conference on Natural Organic Matter

"From Source to Tap and Beyond"


Presentations and papers from the conference are now available to download.

Click here to view the presentations and papers.



Please click on the image

to download the 32-page conference program

(the file is a 1 MB PDF).

Date: July 27-29, 2011                                                                  

Location: Costa Mesa, California USA




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About the 2011 NOM Conference



Standing by his poster, Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin of Helmholtz Zentrum München in Germany was both a keynote speaker and a poster presenter.

The Fourth International Water Association (IWA) Specialty Conference on Natural Organic Matter (NOM) was the fourth in a series of international conferences devoted to better understanding the dynamics and impacts of NOM in drinking water, wastewater, recycled waters, natural waters, and marine systems.


The term "NOM" describes organic matter (originating from plants and animals) that has undergone biological and chemical alterations, often giving water a "brownish" look. It can cause the formation of disinfection byproducts during the water treatment process, which may have adverse human health effects.  In wastewater, NOM is referred to as "effluent organic matter" (EfOM); it can create challenges with membrane treatment and reuse.  In natural systems, NOM is referred to as "dissolved organic matter" (DOM), and is known to control a variety of environmental and biogeochemical processes. 


At the conference, engineers and scientists from around the world highlighted the latest research on various aspects of NOM in water resources.  Research from over 25 countries was represented, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, England, China, Saudi Arabia, and many others. 


The conference spanned 3 days and featured approximately 200 oral and poster presentations. Four presentations were given by keynote speakers, and a special dinner presentation included the viewing of the 25-minute documentary preview, "Running Dry: Beyond the Brink," which was introduced by producer Jim Thebaut. 


Conference attendees had the option to tour the Groundwater Replenishment System in Orange County, California, which was described by attendees as a "practical experience" that "provided a good background for the applied talks on water treatment."

In addition, the conference featured a tour of the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), located in Fountain Valley, California. GWRS is the largest advanced water purification facility in the world for indirect potable reuse; it uses microfiltration and reverse osmosis to eliminate NOM from wastewater as part of the disinfection process.


Altogether, more than 230 people attended the conference, representing personnel from academia, government agencies, water utilities, research organizations, and manufacturing and consulting firms. 


Attendees described the conference as well organized, with a diversity of speakers (including "giants in the field") and topics that provided valuable information (such as learning how utilities are solving problems).  Having time to network and sharing ideas with other scientists were considered highlights of the conference.


The next IWA conference on NOM is expected to held in Perth, Australia, in 2013.



2011 NOM Conference Sponsors



Gold Sponsors

Presenter Merissa Marius (left) spends time with representatives from Horiba Scientific, a conference sponsor, at their exhibit booth.


Silver Sponsor


Bronze Sponsors




2011 NOM Conference Proceedings



The 2011 NOM Conference featured over 200 oral and poster presentations.  Presenters also had the option of submitting a 10-20 page paper. The conference proceedings are made up of the presentations and papers prepared for this conference. 

Susan Richardson, a special luncheon speaker, addressed the formation and toxicity of disinfection byproducts.


The conference proceedings are available to download as individual PDF files.  Please note that some files are larger than others and may take longer to download.


To cite the conference proceedings, please follow this format:

Author(s) (2011). "Title of paper or presentation." Proceedings, Fourth IWA Specialty Conference on Natural Organic Matter, Costa Mesa, California, USA, July 27-29, 2011. www.nwri-usa.org/nom2011.htm.


See below to download the papers and presentations.




Plenary Keynote Presentations



Fifty Years of Research on Dissolved Organic Material and Drinking Water (1961-2011)

Presented by Philip C. Singer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Environmental Metabolomics: An Integrated Bio-Geo-Analytical Approach to Unravel Natural Organic Matter on a Molecular Level

Presented by Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin, Helmholtz Zentrum München

Co-authors: N. Hertkorn, M. Harir, B. Kanawati, I. Gebefugi, M. Lucio, et al.


Natural Organic Matter and Our Current Capacity to Depict Molecular Dissimilarity in Complex Mixtures

Presented by Norbert Hertkorn, Helmholtz Zentrum München

Co-authors: P. Schmitt-Kopplin et al.


The Next Generation of Drinking Water Disinfection Byproducts: Occurrence, Formation, and Toxicity

Presented by Susan D. Richardson




Oral and Poster Presentations and Papers



Note: Click here to download the conference technical program that lists presentation titles and authors by session.


Session 1

A1: Treatment and Removal 1

B1: Molecular Characterization 1

C1: Disinfection Byproducts 1

D1: Monitoring 1

E1: Advanced Oxidation 1

The conference provided an opportunity for students to speak and network.  Over one-third of the presenters were students.  Pictured is Mei Mei Dong, a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who spoke on the topic of advanced oxidation for wastewater treatment.


Session 2

A2: Treatment and Removal 2

B2: Molecular Characterization 2

C2: Disinfection Byproducts 2

D2: Membranes 1

E2: Advanced Oxidation 2


Session 3

A3: Treatment and Removal 3

B3: Molecular Characterization 3

C3: Disinfection Byproducts 3

D3: Photochemistry

E3: Treatment and Characterization 1


Session 4

A4: Treatment and Removal 4

B4: Wastewater Topics 1

C4: Disinfection Byproducts 4

D4: Monitoring 2

E4: Treatment and Characterization 2


Session 5

A5: Treatment and Removal 5

B5: Wastewater Topics 2

C5: Environmental Fate and Transport 1

D5: Membranes 2

E5: Catchment 1


Session 6

Film producer Jim Thebaut (left) introduced his documentary preview, "Running Dry: Beyond the Brink," which featured the effects of drought in Australia, the U.S., and other countries, and took questions afterwards with conference planner Bill Cooper (right).

A6: Treatment and Removal 6

B6: Molecular Characterization 4

C6: Catchment 2

D6: Membranes 3


Session 7

A7: Treatment and Removal 7

B7: Coastal and Seawater

C7: Disinfection Byproducts 5

D7: Environmental Factors

E7: Advanced Oxidation 3


Session 8

A8: Treatment and Removal 8

B8: Molecular Characterization 5

C8a: Treatment

C8b: Special Policy Session for Students

D8: Membranes 4

E8: Advanced Oxidation 4


Session 9

B9: Molecular Characterization 6

C9: Environmental Fate and Transport 2

D9: Membranes 5

E9: Extreme Environments


Poster Presentation Papers




Planning Committee: (from left) Rudolf Jaffé, Bill Cooper, Simon Parsons, and Jeff Mosher
Conference Planning Committee