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What Causes Lift-Station Odors and How Can You Control Them?

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

Wastewater Lift Stations can be a source of strong, unpleasant odors due to the mixtures found within them. Sewage from homes, restaurants and commercial/industrial sources accumulate as sludge in these stations which can create an untenable living environment for those nearby.

Though it is difficult to control what enters these systems at the source level, measures must still be taken at lift station sites to reduce airborne odor levels.

A lift-station control system from In-pipe Technology
What Causes Lift-Station Odors and How Can You Control Them?

Lift-Station Odor Control

A lift station can be a home for two troublesome problems: grease build-up and hydrogen sulfide. The latter carries with it an unmistakable stench, similar to the smell of rotten eggs - not just unpleasant but also hazardous, so keeping your distance is necessary from these odors.

Hydrogen sulfide is a hazardous gas that, when present in the environment, emits an extremely unpleasant odor–the familiar rotten egg smell. Even brief exposure can induce nausea and headaches as well as skin irritation and watery eyes. Inhaling H2S has potential to cause far greater damage due its poisonous nature - inhale with caution!

Hydrogen sulfide gas is an incredibly corrosive and destructive force, capable of wreaking havoc on lift stations and their electrical components. When exposed to water or even just atmospheric moisture, the hazardous H2S converts into sulfuric acid which can further exacerbate the damage done.

sewage pumping station
Sewage Pumping Station

Sewage Lift-Station Odor Control Systems

To tackle the odorous issues and hydrogen sulfide safety risks caused by fats, oil, grease deposits in collection lines and lift stations along with increasingly corrosive environments, we need to focus on an effective solution at the source.

It is important that residents, businesses and industries alike are aware of what they send down the drains into sewer systems and daily monitoring of pump stations should take place. Tackling these matters from a point-source perspective can ensure safe odor control solutions for everyone involved.

A grease cap in a lift station can deplete oxygen levels, leading to the production of hazardous Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) gas. In-Pipe Technology now offers the IPT-AOP-16 Advanced Oxidation Process System for Lift Stations that requires no chemicals, needs only a small footprint and uses minimal electrical power.

IPT-AOP-16 chemical free scrubber system connects to the existing lift station vent to oxidize hydrogen sulfide outside of the lift station environment in order to scrub odors before emission to ambient air and to prevent corrosion of the existing infrastructure.

The IPTC(OH-) requires only 120V power and can be installed in a small space, typically less than 25% of the footprint of biological scrubber devices and with 50% of the power requirements. The photo catalytic cells in the chemical free scrubber produce a continuous supply of powerful hydroxyl radical oxidizing agents to neutralize hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and other odors.

The Importance of Lift-Station Odor Control

lift-station odor control is important for both humans and the environment. When lift stations are not properly maintained, they can release harmful gases and odors into the air.

This can cause respiratory problems for people and animals, and it can also pollute the environment. lift-station odor control can help to reduce these health and environmental risks.

In-Pipe's Solution to Lift-Station Odor Control

Photo Catalytic Cell Performance

A high intensity UV light targeted on a hydrated Quad-Metallic target in a ozone atmosphere thereby creating Ozone, Hydroperoxides, Super Oxide Ions, Hydroxides and Ozonide Ions. All are very aggressive friendly gaseous oxidizers.

By friendly we mean oxidizers that revert back to oxygen and hydrogen after they oxidize the organics, bacteria, odor or gases. In either the negative or positive pressure configuration, the photo catalytic cells provide constant production of powerful hydroxyl radicals, hydroperoxides and oxide ions along with low, safer levels of ozone ions for years of quiet low energy, low maintenance odor control.

Infrequent Maintenance and Scalability

​Each photo catalytic cell lasts 2 to 3 years with continuous usage. A run time meter is provided on the unit to monitor usage and lamp life. Replacement of the lamps takes less than an hour.

Individual IPTC(OH-) scrubber units can be installed in parallel, enabling a scalable and flexible treatment solution. For Industrial applications, sizing for waste containers or working areas can be done prior to installation to provide guaranteed treatment performance for specific uses.

Compatible with IPT Collection System Bioaugmentation

By utilizing In-Pipe collection system bioaugmentation treatment in the collection system to reduce the majority of the H2S by removing the sulfate reducing biofilms, the IPTC(OH-) is an easy and efficient way to polish the air in the lift station headspace, eliminating odor complaints and corrosion problems in wastewater collection systems.

If you'd like to learn more about what In-pipe is doing to fight lift-station odor and other issues check out our website.

In-Pipe Technology Inc provides engineered wastewater treatment

technology and services that meet the escalating challenges facing today’s municipalities and industrial clients.

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