In the drinking water and air pollution fields, odour quality characterisation and intensity of each odour characteristic needs to be developed to evaluate the causes of the odours present. Drinking water quality characterisation has matured to the point where an “odour wheel” is described and the primary chemicals producing the odour are known and therefore a potential treatment can be defined from the odours reported. Sufficient understanding of the types of odorous compounds that can arise from wastewater and compost treatment processes and odours in the urban environment are starting to emerge. This article presents the anatomy of the odour wheels. It is hoped that the foundation of odour wheels will evolve as odour quality data are reported and linked with chemical causation. The compost and urban odour wheels are presented in print for the first time.

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