A taste and odour (T&O) episode in a Swiss town, where consumers complained about a musty odour in their drinking water, was investigated. The application of a combined organoleptic and instrumental method for T&O analysis allowed the identification of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), with an odour threshold of 30 pg l−1, in the drinking water in concentrations of up to 24 ng l−1. The absence of this compound in the raw water and after treatment showed that it was formed in the distribution system. Experiments conducted in the laboratory showed that trichlorophenol as a potential precursor or chlorine as residual disinfectant played a key role in the formation of TCA, which was only formed in the presence of biofilms. Based on these results, appropriate counter-measures, such as water distribution without residual chlorine and maintenance of household particle filters, are suggested to mitigate this T&O problem.
Taste and odour problems generated in distribution systems: a case study on the formation of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole
Andreas Peter, Urs von Gunten; Taste and odour problems generated in distribution systems: a case study on the formation of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole. Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology-Aqua 1 September 2009; 58 (6): 386–394. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/aqua.2009.114
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