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How In-Pipe Technology Is Tackling Sewer Odor Control

Sewer systems can easily start to build up unpleasant odors that can make your home, business, or neighborhood a nightmare to be in. The cause of the odor is commonly thought to be hydrogen sulfide, building up the sulphuric smell we all know and hate. It chases away customers and makes it unpleasant to be in your own home - no wonder it’s a priority to figure it out and make it go away fast.

The problem is, however, that the smell is actually coming from something much simpler and more complex than hydrogen sulfide all at the same time: bacteria. Specifically, the bacteria that live in human waste.

The majority of human waste is carried away to wastewater treatment plants without leaving any traces of its presence behind in the sewer. The concern comes in when it doesn’t. Sometimes some bacteria may be left behind and start creating a biofilm within the sewage collection system.

A smelly biofilm is like a magnet for other bacterias that join in the fun, eating through other nutrients in the system and putting out foul-smelling hydrogen sulfide in turn. When all goes well, this biofilm is eventually swept up and away to the treatment plant where it becomes a distant memory.

Hydrogen sulfide, however, is a sneaky thing. Given any chance to escape, it will make a break for open-air where it becomes a headache to residents and the city. And the danger is worse than just a bad smell - over time, chemical gas builds up in the system can become toxic as well as further corroding the infrastructure.

Learn more about how sewer control is handled today, how In-Pipe is building a new approach and how it’s already working in the real world:

How Cities Respond To Sewer Odors

Once sewer odors become prominent, it’s not long before complaints spur the city on to send out professionals to deal with it. The issue with this approach is that it’s usually heavily chemically dependent which is only a temporary fix with bad implications for the environment.

And that’s not the only drawback. These odor-masking attempts might make a difference over the short term, but long term they’ll just drive up staff time and cost in dealing with it. From there, you can repeat ad nauseum until everyone has their head in their hands wondering how to get rid of the problem once and for all.

What if there was a scientifically-supported way to get rid of bad sewer smells without chasing never-ending solutions that don’t do anything to get to the root of the issue?

The Problem With Typical Odor-Prevention

Once a bacteria-ridden biofilm is in control of the sewer, cities and wastewater professionals need to fight to regain control.

With time, it becomes clear that throwing chemicals at the problem isn’t making it go away. In fact, it might even be hurting your waste collection system.

Chemicals can add sludge, including toxic heavy metals, that have an adverse effect on the treatment process and efficacy and make it tougher to remove nutrients. They also corrode equipment, which costs time and money for maintenance and repair work.

This approach is also expensive.

When asked to find a quick solution to odor problems, cities might pick one that has high industry awareness, but also comes with a hefty price tag. With more time to evaluate other options, they likely would have picked a more affordable solution, which is vital with the extreme budget problems most cities are facing today. ​

Ultimately, if the plan is spending time and money to just smother the smell, that same effort could go toward eliminating what causes the odor problem altogether.

Getting To The Root Of The Issue

One of the biggest challenges in fighting sewer odors is understanding where the smells are coming from. Odor issues can show up in multiple areas of the same system, which can make it more difficult to pinpoint the definitive cause.

The best thing to do is to attack the problems at the point where they germinate and have much better success at preventing issues later in the system.

In-Pipe Technology’s solution is designed to fight fire with fire, eliminating odor problems at their source with a proven bioscience solution that targets the cause of the odor and destroys it.

Bacteria in sewers will continue to create odors as long as they have nutrients to feed off of. What In-Pipe does differently is continually dosing a proprietary mixture of bacteria into the smelly sewer area which will get to the nutrients three times as fast to effectively starve the bad bacteria. The result is that the odor-creating bacteria die off and dissolve into the wastewater to be released elsewhere.

This means that with In-Pipe, there is no more need for harsh chemicals that work only temporary, or expensive scrubbers and equipment. It’s just a simple biological battle in which the bad bacteria loses, and the source of the odor is washed away.

It’s also a solution that is much better for the environment. This is why:

How Green Is In-Pipe?

One of the biggest advantages of the In-Pipe solution is that it draws from natural sources like soil to gain its proprietary bacteria. With no harsh chemicals needed, it means there is no danger to the pipes, pumps, or treatment plant.

In-Pipe also prides itself on working with cities and residents to build continuous and iterative solutions with minimal startup time. We collaborate with you to prepare the dosing plan that fits the unique layout of your system, install multiple dosing locations as agreed, and maintain and service each location as needed – all for one flat fee.

Representatives from In-Pipe will work with your team to analyze your system maps and decide on the best places to dose. No need to buy new equipment or train your team – In-Pipe will get to work on your odor issues quickly. Expect results within months that will last for years to come.

What Will It Cost?

In-Pipe is almost always a more affordable odor prevention alternative when compared with others on the market. For example, it is a fraction of the cost of the market-leading calcium nitrate solution.

In-Pipe’s innovative solution to persistent odor problems stands out in the market because it takes care of the problem at its source and doesn’t hurt your equipment or the environment. Cities are looking for inexpensive, long-term, green solutions and In-Pipe will make it possible for you to fix it and forget it.

In-Pipe In The Real World: A Case Study

How has In-Pipe transformed wastewater and odor control infrastructure in the real world?

Well, Texas City selected In-Pipe Technology, Inc. to provide a collection system bioaugmentation program to control fats, oil, and grease (FOG) and H2S odor in the sewer system.

In-Pipe designed a treatment strategy and provided, installed, and maintains ninety-six dosing units for the collection system which add a consortium of bacteria throughout the Town’s wastewater collection system. In-Pipe’s blend of facultative anaerobic bacteria forms a biofilm inside the sewer pipes which initiates treatment of the wastewater in the sewer system during conveyance to the WWTP.

The bacteria also inoculate the influent wastewater with heterotrophic wastewater bacteria that enable a greater degradation of organics and lower oxygen requirements than normal wastewater bacteria.

What does that mean in terms of results? Take a look:

  • 45% decrease in average H2S concentration at a hot-spot in the collection

  • 38% fallen peak values

  • 50% decrease in Effluent ammonia load

  • 11% decrease in Influent CBOD

  • 28% decrease in Influent TSS

  • 22% decrease in Effluent CBOD

  • 28% decrease in Effluent TSS

The Ultimate In-Pipe Promise

Let’s be honest, we are talking about biology here – it’s complicated. Things change. Our service is designed to be flexible and adaptable to meet these changing conditions.

We are not interested in selling the most amount of products as we can – we care about the long-term, lasting results from the implementation of our green solution in your system.

In-Pipe Technology custom engineers the right treatment solution for each customer.

Strategic dosing locations are chosen at the outset of the project by our engineering staff. During installation and subsequent microbe reloads, each dosing location is evaluated and its state is documented (i.e., accumulation of FOG, excessive odor, etc.).

Taking this information into consideration, the engineering and microbiology teams at IPT can make adjustments to the microbe blend at any location during the project in order to more effectively treat the specific situation at that location. Additionally, we provide reports highlighting potential problems observed during our field service so that we can proactively address potential problems.

Make better decisions for your town or city while also protecting the environment. With In-Pipe, smelly sewer odors can be a thing of the past without the rigmarole currently involved in resolving this issue. We tackle the problem at the root but make sure it solves it end-to-end.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and get a custom solution for your needs!

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