Water sources can contain substances that give a colour to the water. This includes the humic compounds that result from the decay of plant matter and are found in particular in catchments rich in peaty soils. The appearance, taste and smell of water are important to consumers. A lack of colour may be preferable from an appearance point of view. Colour removal can be particularly important because of the potential for substances in water to react during disinfection. This can impact the taste and smell of the water and lead to the formation of disinfection byproducts, which are regulated because of health concerns.
Dutch companies, such as chemical suppliers and membrane manufacturers, offer solutions for removing colour.