Primary Author / Conference Presenter:
Randy Adams
Research Professor
Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco
Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico

Liliana Hernández-Acosta, Verónica Isidra Domínguez-Rodríguez, and Rodolfo Gómez-Cruz
Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco

Most remediation projects goals include preventing leachates to groundwater to protect public health and avoid unpleasant taste. The permissible level for aesthetic characteristics may be as low as 0.1mg/L, which is very difficult to reach technically and increases project costs considerably. However, there is a dearth of information on the aesthetic criteria that can be backed scientifically. Our aim was to experimentally determine this limit. TCLP-leachates were made from a weathered alluvial soil contaminated with medium crude, diluted to 0.1-2mg/L, and served in small glasses. In a blind taste test, panelist scored their perceptions on taste intensity and acceptability. In this preliminary study, there were several tendencies: 1) flavor intensity was directly related to hydrocarbon concentration and could be perceived at only 0.2mg/L, 2) there was a threshold of 1mg/L which was still generally considered to be slightly pleasant, but 2mg/L was scored as unpleasant, 3) there was considerable individual variation: one of the five panelist was very sensitive, registering an unpleasant score at only 0.5mg/L, and one individual found all samples to be acceptable (even at 2mg/L). These results can help to scientifically establish the aesthetic criteria, and if trends hold-out in more complete studies, justify a much higher cleanup goal (~1mg/L).