Any place or process in which wastewater is collected, conveyed, or treated has the potential to generate and release nuisance odors to the surrounding area. However, most odor problems occur in the collection system, in primary treatment facilities, and in solids handling facilities. In most instances, the odors associated with collection systems and primary treatment facilities are generated as a result of an anaerobic or “septic” condition.
Foul-smelling gases are formed within septic conditions during the collection and treatment of wastewater. It has long been recognized as a major problem for municipal wastewater systems. Known for its rotten egg smell, it is produced by the biological reduction of sulfates and the decomposition of organic material. It forms at virtually every point in a system from interceptors, force mains, and lift stations, to holding tanks, mechanical dewatering equipment, and drying beds.
Carbon adsorption is an effective solution to many odor control problems.
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