A modified parfait/distillation method was developed that recovers a wide range of neutral, catonic, anionic, and hydrophobic contaminants form water. Porous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon, duPont) was identified as an ideal first filtering-adsorbing bed in the parfait train. PTFE removed humic acid and a broad range of hydrophobic compounds. It was more easily cleaned and contributed fewer impurities to eluates than other porous hydrophobic adsorbents tested. Several types of 0.2 micrometers sterilization filters were tested. Filters containing nitrocellulose or fiberglass appeared to adsorb appreciable amounts of some model compounds; polycarbonate or polypropylene filters were less adsorptive. Various ion exchange resins were evaluated for use in the parfait column. Finally, the modified parfait method was tested for its ability to recover 19 model compounds in a synthetic hard water.