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Water Science and Technology Vol 31 No 11 pp 99–103 © IWA Publishing 1995

Formation of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol and 2,4,6-trichloroanisole during treatment and distribution of drinking water

S. Karlsson*, S. Kaugare**, A. Grimvall*, H. Borén* and R. Sävenhed*

*Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University S-581 83 Linköping Sweden
**University of Latvia, 48 K. Valdemara st. 226013 Riga Latvia

Biomethylation of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol to the potent off-flavour compound 2,4,6-trichloroanisole has previously been found to cause taste and odour problems in drinking water. In the present study, both compounds were detected in seemingly unpolluted surface waters. However, the highest concentrations of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole in tap water were caused by the formation of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol during chlorine disinfection of drinking water and subsequent methylation of this compound in the distribution system. Analysis of samples from several sites in the investigated distribution systems showed that there was a substantial spatial and temporal variation of the concentration of both 2,4,6-trichloroanisole and its precursor.

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