The ozonation treatment resulted in decreased Nrf2 activity in spite of unchanged DOC levels. However, a strong correlation was found between UV absorbing compounds and Nrf2 activity, demonstrating that Nrf2 inducing DBPs were formed from pre-cursors of a specific NOM fraction, constituted of mainly aromatic compounds. Moreover, high-dose chlorination of raw water induced genotoxicity. In similarity to the DOC levels, UV absorbance and Nrf2 activity, the disinfection-induced genotoxicity was also reduced by each treatment step of the innovative water treatment technique. AhR activity was observed in the water produced by the conventional process and in the raw water, but the activity was clearly decreased by the ozonation step in the innovative water treatment process.
Further, we have shown that UVA254 absorbing NOM compounds show a very high correlation with the risk of disinfection-induced toxicity in the form of Nrf2 activity.