Effect of natural organic matter (NOM) on the stability of inorganic arsenic species in simulated raw water was examined at circumneutral pH. An ion chromatography–inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry system was used for simultaneous determination of As(III) and As(V). A reduction of arsenate (As(V)) to arsenite (As(III)) was observed in the unfiltered simulated raw waters (USW). The As(V) reduction to As(III) did not occur in the simulated waters that passed through a 0.2 μm membrane (FSW). Microorganism activities is probably the major reason causing As(V) reduction in the USW. In the FSW without NOM, As(III) tended to be oxidized into As(V). The addition of 0.036 mM of Fe(II) significantly facilitated the oxidation. The presence of 10 mg/L Suwannee River NOM as C inhibited As(III) oxidation no matter whether Fe(II) existed or not. The experimental results suggest that NOM can mediate distribution of inorganic arsenic species in water, thus it is an important factor controlling the mobility and toxicity of arsenic in drinking water.
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