Water analysis – Odorants
Low-level odorous compounds in drinking water
Drinking water is prone to contamination by naturally occurring compounds such as geosmin, methyl isoborneol (MIB) and trihaloanisoles.
These compounds can be detected by the human nose at levels as low as 10 ng/L (approx. 10 ppt), and although not presenting a health hazard, can cause an ‘earthy’ smell that is of concern to consumers.
Early detection and identification of these compounds (for example at the treatment plant) can therefore give water companies warning of contamination, and allow them to take remedial action.
What Markes can offer
The volatility of drinking water odorants makes analysis by gas chromatography (GC) a natural choice, while the low concentrations dictate the need for trap-based preconcentration.
These volatile compounds are best detected either by headspace sampling, or by HiSorb sorptive extraction, both of which are now automated by the Centri sampling and preconcentration platform.