This is an excerpt of an article featured in the January 2018 issue of Water & Wastes Digest.
Aimed to convert wastewater into effluent, the process of wastewater treatment is one of the most common forms of pollution control in the U.S. However, the impact various production processes have on the environment makes wastewater treatment a frequent talking point in legislatures across the country.
Wastewater odor control is one evolving element of the treatment process. The prevalence of odor emissions surrounding plants, treatment facilities, landfills, and other sites is a concern to public works directors and the communities they serve.
Multiple Odor Sources Require Tailored Solutions
Controlling wastewater odors is one of the most challenging aspects of its treatment. Some facilities see mixed results from multimillion-dollar ventilation system installations, while many others use masking scents that only provide a temporary cover-up for troubling smells.
With multiple dissemination methods and essential oil-like properties, plant-based odor control solutions make them an effective treatment option for multiple odor problem areas in wastewater treatment facilities. Headworks, clarifiers, sedimentation basins, lift stations, lagoons, biosolids treatment, industrial wastewater, and wastewater septage dumping are areas in wastewater treatment that can benefit from this kind of odor control.
Odors associated with these processes include:
- sulfur dioxide
Headworks & primary treatment odors
Hydrogen sulfide odor is a serious issue in wastewater treatment plants. Vapor or fan systems installed at the bar screens
and digesters solve the problem. In some cases, the biochemical can be diluted with plant water for more cost-effective operations.
Activated biosolid basin odors
Because basins for activated biosolids can be large and uncovered, smells are free to drift into nearby areas. Custom biochemical delivery systems can be developed to neutralize odors in a natural way.
Industrial wastewater plant odors
Many industrial facilities have their own wastewater treatment plants. There are two types of odors in these areas: smells generated from processed materials and those emanating from wastewater lagoons. Ecosorb products are approved for use outside of industrial processing pants to neutralize odors.
Wastewater septage dumping odors
Raw septage from haulers can present odor problems to plants that otherwise have their industrial emissions under control. Fan or nozzle atomization systems placed near the unloading point and vented or open downstream locations from them provide effective odor removal.
Each facility will have its own issues, but with a safe, natural and scientifically proven mode of operation and multiple methods of delivery, odor issues in wastewater facilities can be neutralized.
Dr. Laura Haupert, Ph.D., is the Director of Research & Development at OMI Industries, the world’s authority on natural odor control solutions.