Keywords: biological filtration, 2-methylisoborneol, MIB, geosmin, sand filtration, drinking water, water odour, odour removal, smell, water treatment, Australia
Removal of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol through biologically active sand filters
The removal of taste and odour compounds from drinking water is a constant challenge to water authorities. Although adverse odours do not present a risk to human health, their presence often leads to a misconception that the water is unsafe for drinking. 2-Methylisoborneol (MIB) and geosmin are the most common causes of earthy/musty odour, and are not easily removed by conventional treatment processes. MIB and geosmin can be removed through biologically active sand filters. Experiments were conducted using laboratory sand filter columns using sand taken from South Australian water treatment plants. Sand with a well-established biofilm taken from a 26 years old filter was capable of removing MIB and geosmin to below detection limit after 11 days of operation at an Empty Bed Contact Time (EBCT) of 15 min. Sand without an established biofilm removed 60% geosmin and 40% MIB after 154 days of operation at 15 min EBCT.