Two common drinking water earthy/musty odorants, 2-methyl-isoborneol (2-MIB)
and trans-1,10-dimethyl-trans-9-decalol (geosmin), were monitored and analyzed for
their correlation with environmental conditions in Feng-Shen Reservoir (FSR),
Taiwan. Long-term monitoring results, from December 2000 to July 2003, indicated
that 2-MIB was present in the reservoir at concentrations between 10 and 200 ng-L-1,
and those of geosmin were always smaller than 10 ng-L-1. The 2-MIB concentrations followed a trend of higher concentrations during the warm seasons. After being analyzed with 10 water quality and 3 meteorological parameters, 2-MIB
concentration was found to correlate with corresponding air and water temperatures.
An analysis of air temperature history versus 2-MIB concentration in FSR suggested
that 2-MIB concentration was best correlated with the mean of average daily
temperature from 1 to 9 days before sampling, with R2 = 0.90. This correlation was further employed to predict the 2-MIB concentration observed during another
sampling period in FSR. A similar degree of fit was observed between predictions
and experimental data, suggesting the potential applicability of the approach. In
addition to the effect of temperature, heavy rainfalls that occurred before the sampling
time may also reduce the 2-MIB concentration in the reservoir. A short-term continuous monitoring of the odorants for 32 hours showed that both geosmin and 2-MIB concentrations in the reservoir remained almost constant, with only about a
10% difference during the sampling period. This may suggest that the odorants were
uniformly distributed in the water near the sampling location in the reservoir.