Understanding and predicting Taste and Odour events is as difficult as critical for drinking water treatment plants. Following a number of events in recent years, a comprehensive statistical analysis of data from Lake Tingalpa (Queensland, Australia) was conducted. Historical manual sampling data, as well as data remotely collected by a vertical profiler, were collected; regression analysis and self-organising maps were the used to determine correlations between Taste and Odour compounds and potential input variables. Results showed that the predominant Taste and Odour compound was geosmin. Although one of the main predictors was the occurrence of cyanobacteria blooms, it was noticed that the cyanobacteria species was also critical. Additionally, water temperature, reservoir volume and oxidised nitrogen availability, were key inputs determining the occurrence and magnitude of the geosmin peak events. Based on the results of the statistical analysis, a predictive regression model was developed to provide indications on the potential occurrence, and magnitude, of peaks in geosmin concentration. Additionally, it was found that the blue green algae probe of the lake’s vertical profiler has the potential to be used as one of the inputs for an automated geosmin early warning system.
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