Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) can be scavenged by rainfall and contribute dissolved organic matter (DOM) to rainwater. Rainwater may serve as a part or the whole of drinking water sources, leading to the introduction of PM-derived DOM into drinking water. However, little information is available on the role of PM-derived DOM as a remarkable precursor of CX3R-type disinfection by-products (DBPs) in rainwater. In this study, samples were collected from ten occurrences of rainfall in Shanghai and batch experiments were executed to explore the contribution of PM-derived DOM to CX3R-type DBP formation in rainwater and to further understand some of unknowns regarding its characteristics. Results revealed that a part of PM was scavenged by rainfall and the scavenge performance was better for smaller PM. The formation potentials (FPs) of individual CX3R-type DBP were similar among size-isolated PM. TCM was predominant (around 0.5–4.5 μg-C/mg-C) and TCAA was the secondary (around 0.6–3.2 μg-C/mg-C) among all detectable CX3R-type DBPs. Based on the PM removal data and DBP FP results, the contribution of PM-derived DOM to CX3R-type DBP formation in rainwater was modeled. Furthermore, aromatic proteins and soluble microbial product-like compounds were found to be significant compositions, which were reported to be DBP precursors. And low molecular weight (< 10 kDa) DOM derived from total PM and rainwater exhibited higher CX3R-type DBP FPs. DOM fractions with higher SUVA254 and SUVA285 values gave relatively higher yields of CX3R-type DBPs, indicating that aromatic compounds played an important role in DBP formation.
- CXR-type disinfection by-products
- Drinking water
- Particulate matter