Substitution of a single Ga-atom or single Ge-atom (GaAl.sub.12 and GeAl.sub.12 respectively) into the center of an aluminum Keggin polycation (Al.sub.13) produces an optimal water-treatment product for neutralization and coagulation of anionic contaminants in water. GaAl.sub.12 consistently shows .about.1 order of magnitude increase in pathogen reduction, compared to Al.sub.13. At a concentration of 2 ppm, GaAl.sub.12 performs equivalently to 40 ppm alum, removing .about.90% of the dissolved organic material. The substituted GaAl.sub.12 product also offers extended shelf-life and consistent performance. We also synthesized a related polyaluminum chloride compound made of pre-hydrolyzed dissolved alumina clusters of [GaO.sub.4Al.sub.12(OH).sub.24(H.sub.2O).sub.12].sup.7+.