1996, pp 107-138

Taste and odor problems in drinking water

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Customer complaints concerning taste and odor are a continuing concern of the water supply industry because they are associated with poor drinking water quality by consumers. Many tastes and odors are caused by low concentration levels of organic compounds. Some of these compounds are naturally occurring, while others are of industrial origin. Of primary concern is the identification of organoleptic compounds in water supplies to enable their efficient removal. At present, this is achieved primarily through knowledge of the compounds present in the water. However, there is a general lack of identification of compounds that cause tastes and odors, especially if the compounds are present in complex mixtures at or below individual odor threshold concentrations. This chapter will evaluate the present state of knowledge of off-flavours in raw and potable water.