Wastewater treatment plant stench is common; bearing in mind they collect waste matter from various places – residential, commercial and industrial sources. The level of treatment in various plants differs; but one thing they have in common, is their extent of releasing an unpleasant smell. So, what are some of the major causes of treatment plant odors?
- Rising temperatures
As the outdoor temperatures rises, for instance during summer, the wastewater temperature also increase. Consequently, aerobic bacteria become dreadfully active and start digesting BOD and other nutrients even at a quicker rate. The warm the water gets the more active these bacteria are; and in turn, the more oxygen they use. This usually results in low dissolved oxygen.
2. Anoxic zones
Low dissolved oxygen together with rising temperatures can possibly make anoxic zones to multiply at the base of wastewater aeration basins. More often than not, anaerobic digestions releases sulphur dioxide, besides other noxious gases which cause wastewater odor.
- Increase oxygen supply
Increasing oxygen supply ensures that the bacteria have adequate oxygen vital to aerobically digest BOD. Obviously, this will help minimize odors as anaerobic digestion will drop off.
2. Water circulation
Ensuring dissolved oxygen is adequately reaching every part of the aeration basin is crucial to avoiding odor. This can be achieved by circulating wastewater in all parts of the plant; and virtually, it will ensure that the much-needed oxygen is dissolved evenly.
In a nutshell, a very pungent odor is a sign that wastewater is being undertreated. An irritating smell can affect the industry workers or people living nearby if left unhandled. Therefore, next time there is an odor coming from your plant; make an effort of taking the above steps.