Seven major water treatment plants in Seoul Metropolitan Area, which are under Korea Water Resources Corporation (KOWACO)'s management, take water from the Paldang Reservoir in the Han River System for drinking water supply. There are taste and odour (T&O) problems in the finished water because the conventional treatment processes do not efficiently remove the T&O compounds. This study evaluated T&O removal by ozonation, granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment, powder activated carbon (PAC) and an advanced oxidation process in a pilot-scale treatment plant and bench-scale laboratory experiments. During T&O episodes, PAC alone was not adequate, but as a pretreatment together with GAC it could be a useful option. The optimal range of ozone dose was 1 to 2 mg/L at a contact time of 10 min. However, with ozone alone it was difficult to meet the T&O target of 3 TON and 15 ng/L of MIB or geosmin. The GAC adsorption capacity for DOC in the three GAC systems (F/A, GAC and O3 + GAC) at an EBCT of 14 min is mostly exhausted after 9 months. However, substantial TON removal continued for more than 2 years (>90,000 bed volumes). GAC was found to be effective for T&O control and the main removal mechanisms were adsorption capacity and biodegradation.

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