Determination of Algae Compounds in Drinking Water

Topics in Drinking Water
Oral Presentation

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Contact Information:; 513-642-0100


It has been found that the presence of blue green algae in water sources produces 2-Methylisoborneol (2-MIB) and Geosmin. Both Geosmin and 2-MIB are malodorous compounds that emit a musty earthy aroma. When the algae generates an abundance of these compounds in a drinking water reservoir, there are resulting taste and odor problems. Algae blooms are influenced by their climate, as a result, the formation of Geosmin and 2-MIB is more of a problem during the summer months and in warmer climates. Areas in the southwestern portion of the United States seem to have the most problems with 2-MIB and Geosmin
Drinking waters are tested in order to determine water quality for prospective consumers. Two of the major complaints that water suppliers need to address are issues with taste and odor. Geosmin and 2-MIB, although non-toxic, both have very strong odors and can be detected at levels below 10ppt. Thus, developing a reliable sampling and analysis platform is important. This presentation will examine the efficacy purge and trap and Solid Phase Micro-Extraction (SPME) sampling for the determination of Geosmin and 2-MIB.