Off- flavours and off-odours are recognized by the water community worldwide to be major causes of consumer complaints and a loss in confidence of drinking water safety by the general public. Such problems arise by natural and anthropogenic means. Algae are a common cause of naturally produced off-flavours. Industrial discharges and spills have caused anthropogenic odours. Micropollutants have affected fish in seawater, freshwater, and aquaculture environments. Even bottled water can be affected by off-flavours. Finally, the off-odour cycle of research takes us into wastewater and biosolids in order to understand how and why they are formed. The chemical causes are complex and often at trace levels, requiring highly sensitive analytical techniques and sophisticated human sensory panels to understand their impacts and measure the effectiveness of their controls.
The papers selected for these proceedings provide a highly authoritative examination of the issues relating to flavours and odours in the water environment, including wastewater and its biosolids. Several papers deal with issues of the Great Lakes, the region in which this particular symposium was held. This issue of Water Science and Technology will be a valuable resource for scientists and engineers involved in off-flavour research and for all who are tackling and tracking those off-flavours in hopes of eliminating them as a nuisance.