Solvents and organic compounds, such as 2-MIB, geosmin, acetone, and tetrahydrofuran, could exist in water infrequently at very low concentrations (i.e. parts per billion or even parts per trillion levels). Although they do not pose a health hazard and are within permissible drinking water quality standards, they can cause taste and odour issues at the consumer end and give rise to customer complaints. Furthermore, some of these compounds do not cause any taste and odour issues until they are boiled.
The industry’s current practice is to sample and measure these compounds in the laboratory using instruments, such as a purge-and-trap gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (P&T GC-MS) or a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer (LC-MS) as part of a regular sampling and measurement regime. While real-time TOC sensors are also used to continuously monitor if these trace compounds are within stringent limits, they are not able to pinpoint the specific species of compounds from among the compounds present that may contribute to objectionable taste and odour.
We are interested in cost-effective, continuous-monitoring solutions that can detect and identify the specific odour and taste issues at the raw water intake to the plant, before the water leaves the treatment plant, as well as in the network before it reaches the consumers.