Geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) are two of the causative compounds responsible for the earthy/musty odour problem in drinking water. They are a major concern for the water treatment industry because they are difficult to remove by conventional water treatment practices and are fairly resistant to chemical oxidation. Various studies have been conducted at both bench and full scale to examine the removal of these compounds by adsorption and/or biological filtration. Lack of study at realistic odour compound concentrations and disregard for losses of these compounds by other means (i.e., volatilization or adsorption) represent some of the limitations of such studies. The bench-scale investigation reported herein focussed on system design and minimization of system losses. The results indicated that the preferred system design included the use of Teflon feed bottles, Teflon tubing, and a glass filter column in which the influent feed line descended close to the media surface. Such a design minimized system losses of both geosmin and MIB to 42 and 30%, respectively, based on target influent concentrations of 200 ng/L.

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