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Wastewater Odor Control: How to Eliminate Odor at Your Site

Wastewater nutrient removal plants have been struggling to implement odor control methods that keep unwanted odor problems in check.

It's clear that wastewater smells. Even when there is no wind, wastewater treatment plants still emit an unpleasant odor. There are increasing pressures on plants, treatment facilities, landfills, and other sites to reduce odor emissions. This is why odor control has become an integral part of wastewater treatment.

It is not easy to find the right solution for large facilities with lingering odors. Many wastewater treatment plants invest in ventilation systems for odor control that cost multi-millions of dollars. However, these systems often have mixed results. Some use masking agents, which do not provide relief and only temporarily mask odors.


It's Time to be Proactive

Each site is unique- and each has its own odor problem when conducting wastewater nutrient removal processes. Therefore, the odor control solution must be customized to address these specific challenges. A properly implemented odor control system will be beneficial to both the surrounding community and employees at the treatment plant.

It is easier than ever to have neighbors complain about the smell around your site. These complaints could lead to unwelcome attention and even regulatory fines or penalties. It is best to prevent odors from becoming a problem in the first place.

Be considerate of your community and take a proactive approach to address wastewater odor at your wastewater treatment plant.

Start at The Source

You might have multiple sources of odor depending on how large your facility is. This could require multiple systems to manage. You might also be able to control your odor with one system at the plant's perimeter. It is important to know where the odors originate and what system you are trying to control. These factors should be considered when determining the right odor control technology.

Common Sources of Odor in Wastewater Treatment

Most wastewater nutrient removal facilities have some degree of odor. You may have problems in the primary wastewater nutrient removal treatment or sludge-handling areas depending on where you are located. Some examples are:

  • Lagoons

  • Clarifiers

  • Sedimentation basins

  • Lift stations

  • Wastewater septage dumping

There are many odors that these processes can produce, including ammonia and sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and skatoles. There are many natural remedies and deployment techniques that can reduce these odors.

Hydrogen sulfide smell is a serious problem in wastewater treatment plants. This issue can be solved by fan or vapor systems when in installed at digesters and bar screens. Sometimes, the biochemical can also be diluted with water from plants to create a cost-effective solution.

Basins for Activated Biosolids

Basins used to activate biosolids are often large and open. These basins allow smells to freely drift into surrounding areas. These odors can be neutralized naturally with biochemical delivery systems that can be customized. Plant-based solutions can easily be distributed over large areas using atomization systems that are either low or high-pressure.

Dumping of Wastewater

Plants can be affected by raw septage from haulers, which can cause odor problems. These odors can be effectively removed by fan or nozzle atomization systems located near the unloading points and vented or open downstream locations.

Weigh The Elements

The outside environment and geography play a significant role in the way odors are transmitted and treated at wastewater nutrient removal facilities. When deciding the delivery method of your odor control, it is important to consider temperature, humidity and precipitation.

If you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, the water will run into your plant. Rainwater can help to reduce some of the odor, but not all.

It is also important to consider heat. You may experience significant odor problems if you live in a humid, hot area. This is due to bacteria producing more odorous compounds. Your facility releases hydrogen sulfide and ammonia odors on hot days. The vaporization of volatile organic compounds can also lead to a worsening of odor problems.

The next step after identifying the source of the odor in your facility is to determine the cause. The characteristics of odor production can help determine whether it is detectable. The next step is to determine the best solution to remove the odor.

Find Your Solution

Once you’ve determined the origin(s) of the odor and your next steps, it’s important to be flexible once a system has been installed to tackle any new odor control issues that might arise. Equipment that is able to disperse chemical solutions only when it blows in that direction, for example, can be helpful if there are no neighbors to your north.

Odor Control Services

Each wastewater nutrient removal site is unique, as are its odor control problems. It is important that you use all resources available to control odor when you implement a new odor control strategy. At In Pipe Technology, we specialize in finding the best wastewater nutrient removal solution and are here to help you find an effective- and odor free- system for your site.


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