The scientists who sniff water | July 3, 2017 Issue - Vol. 95 Issue 27 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 95 Issue 27 | pp. 16-19
Issue Date: July 3, 2017

The scientists who sniff water

Researchers analyze the odors wafting off drinking water to help make it stink-free
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: water, environmental science, drinking water, odor, chemical spill, analytical chemistry

Mel Suffet stood at a whiteboard, dry-erase marker in hand, and asked me sarcastically, “Did you have fish for dinner?” He wasn’t commenting on my breath. For the past hour, I’d been sitting in a mini-cubicle, taking part in a six-person odor-sniffing panel in his lab at the University of California, Los Angeles. I’d just told him that a water sample I’d sniffed had a musty and fishy odor.

“I’m not going to put it . . .

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