What Causes Odour in Wastewater Treatment Facilities


Finding and solving any odor problem can be tricky, but the first step is to identify the source of the problem. Unpleasant smells could derive from raw wastewater being exposed to air at the pump station and primary clarifier stage, as well as any other stage of the treatment process.


Causes

Rising Temperatures

Africa is fortunate to have warm weather conditions, however this causes a challenge when temperatures rise during the hotter months, the temperature of the wastewater also increases, resulting in aerobic bacteria becoming hyperactive and start digesting BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and other nutrients at accelerated rates. Causing low dissolved oxygen levels.


Anoxic Zones

"Anoxic" is terminology which refers to biological denitrification. In an anoxic zone, nitrate is the electron acceptor as opposed to oxygen. Wastewater may have high nitrate and nitrite content, an efficient treatment process breaks down odour causing compounds to avoid nutrient pollution during the discharge of effluent into the environment.


Anaerobic Decomposition

During anaerobic wastewater treatment processes, microorganisms break down waste matter in the absence of oxygen. The natural by-product of anaerobic digestion is hydrogen sulfide (H2S), this compound emits a dominant and offensive smell. Due to the low solubility in wastewater, it gets liberated into the air, producing an displeasing odor.

Treatment Deficiencies in the the treatment plant are the primary causes for such issues, which negatively affect staff and communities.


Solutions

Increase Oxygen Supply

Increasing oxygen supply ensures that the aerobic bacteria have the oxygen they need to aerobically digest BOD.


Wastewater Circulation

Conventional aeration technologies currently being utilised are not always effective at increasing oxygen supply and ensuring circulation throughout. Coarse and fine bubble diffusers do a better job of increasing dissolved oxygen. The Membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology provides a revolutionary improvement in aerobic wastewater treatment.


In conclusion, efficiently treating municipal wastewater with a solution like the MABR will ensure high quality effluent, that protects the environment from pollution.


MEB provides specialised services to help you understand, design, supply and maintain the best treatment option for your unique challenges. Have a chat with us today to find out more about our packaged biological wastewater treatment solutions.

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