The Prevalence and Control of Fragrance Compounds in Iowa Drinking Water

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Project Period: 
Project Investigator(s): 
K. Hornbuckle, W. Wombacher, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa

The purpose of this pilot project is to evaluate the effectiveness of water treatment in removing fragrance compounds from drinking water. Synthetic musk fragrances are common additives to many household products. They have been found in wastewater effluent discharge and are considered to be common contaminants in surface waters. The effectiveness of conventional water treatment at removing synthetic fragrances is not well known. Some evidence suggests that removal efficiencies are very poor. This is of concern because many synthetic musk fragrances are endocrine disruptors and may present a health risk to humans. The objectives of this pilot project include: 1) Weekly monitoring at the University of Iowa Water Plant: 2) Determination of removal efficiency; and 3) Evaluation of specific treatment processes.


Wombacher WD, Hornbuckle KC; Synthetic Musk Fragrances in a Conventional Drinking Water Treatment Plant with Lime Softening. J Environ Eng (New York). 2009135(11): 1192-1198.