Aigües de Vic – Aigües d’Osona

Preventive modelling and treatment optimisation to remove geosmin from water treatment plants

The aim is to optimise the current treatment system to combat geosmin episodes, as well as the evaluation of alternative technologies.
  • Start Date: 01/03/2018

    End Date: 30/03/2024

Geosmin is a molecule produced by naturally occurring micro-organisms that release it into surface water under certain conditions, causing episodes of bad odour and bad taste in drinking water. Although it does not affect health, it does alter the perception of quality for most consumers.

A first three-year agreement between Aigües de Vic, Aigües d’Osona, CT BETA and CERM has allowed a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the appearance of geosmin in the surface water of the river Ter. Specifically, experiments have been carried out at different scales to confirm the influence of some factors, such as the flow of the river or the availability of light and nutrients on the production of geosmin.

In addition, regular monitoring of the river has been carried out at five points distributed throughout the Alt Ter basin, from the Pyrenees to Gurb, including the catchment points of the companies.

A second agreement has enabled this work to continue: Firstly, it is working to optimise the treatment currently used in water treatment plants to combat episodes of geosmin, based on activated carbon. Secondly, the use of oxidising agents such as ozone and hydrogen peroxide is being evaluated as a possible alternative way to eliminate geosmin in water.