The Ever-Expanding World of Odor Control at Wastewater Facilities

The problems with odor from wastewater facilities have been an ongoing problem for years. Typically, the closer you reside to the facility, the more prominent the odor that you may have to endure. Many researchers are trying to come up with better technologies to help with this continuing concern. 

They call it “the science of smell,” which is there to enhance strategies to minimize odor pollution from wastewater facilities, thanks to the development of what is being called a pioneering industrial standard––the electronic nose. The technology can be used to help improve the control of odors associated with wastewater treatment and composting, by sensing odors and raising an alert before they could potentially cause human discomfort.

The equipment can sense when the odors are inflated and trigger an activity to reduce nuisance odors at a very early stage. The technology mimics the human sense of smell to detect levels of odor and pollutant gases in the air. Previous technology has been at a standstill for many years due to the complexity of mimicking the sense of smell with existing technology. But with the new technology, it can create an objective profile of odor levels. By doing this, it enables better policy and management standards in regards to odor control. It provides 24/7 measurement of odor in odor units’ (EN13725 and ASTM E679) and also pollutant gases in ppm (H2S, NH3, and VOC’s). It can be transferred into a 3D map, and dispersion models can be created to see potentially affected areas. A prime example of this can be made when there are unacceptable levels of odors at periodic intervals due to widespread meteorological conditions causing human discomfort. The equipment has been designed to pinpoint conditions that lead to these problems, prompting timely remedial action, such as operating a spray system to neutralize the odors.

There are many benefits to this system, which can be tailor-made to deal with existing problems that operators may have at each facility. There are many different companies that offer a product similar to this technology. We do not endorse a specific product, but want to inform operators across the state about equipment that could potentially help their treatment process.  For more information about this particular technology, you may visit the company’s website at

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