Possible odor groups and intensity, and seasonal effects were elucidated in two representative water treatment plants (WTPs), Feng-Shen and Gun-Shi, in southern Taiwan. The flavor profile analysis (FPA) was employed to determine the odor groups for the source water, while a chemical analysis, solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coupled with a gas chromatograph and mass spectrometric detector (GC/MSD), was used to concentrate and subsequently analyze the corresponding water samples. FPA results show that fishy and musty odors were the two major odor groups in the source water. Results of chemical analysis showed that 2-methyl-isoborneol (2-MIB) was present in the source water. The correlation between 2-MIB concentration and the FPA intensity of musty odor was compared with the dose-response curve generated in the laboratory by the FPA panelists. The experimental data from the two water treatment plants follow the calibration curve closely, indicating that the musty odor of the two source waters were most likely contributed from 2-MIB. In addition, there is good correlation between logarithmic 2-MIB concentration and water temperature, substantiating the importance of seasonal effect. Although approximately 40-50% of 2-MIB removal was found in the treatment trains for the two WTPs, only an approximately 0.3 FPA intensity scale of reduction was expected.
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