One of the biggest challenges in wastewater treatment is the control of foul odours. These odours are the result of organic matter breakdown in runoff which give it the peculiar smell of rotting eggs or ammonia. The smell is so pungent that even small traces will be noticeable. This becomes a very significant issue with the surrounding community which can cause a negative opinion of the wastewater treatment facility if not addressed properly.
To combat these offensive odours, treatment plants may use a variety of methods including chemicals or deodorizing misting systems. These have proven to have only limited success. Odour control is constant and pervasive and can even intensify under certain weather conditions making control increasingly difficult. If left unabated the odours will resonate negatively with the people in the surrounding area and complaints will almost certainly negate the benefits that the treatment plant provides. Employees in a workplace environment with uncontrolled odours can be demoralized thereby reducing job satisfaction.
The simplest and most effective solution is to place a cover on the water tanks that hold the waste. It would be vital that the cover be airtight to prevent the escape of foul odours yet be accessible and safe for necessary inspections. Another feature of a good cover is that it should be able to withstand varying weather conditions, resist tearing, punctures, chemicals, and UV rays. These covers should be appropriately suited for the plant’s environment and requirements.
There are other benefits to having covers in tanks other than simply odour control. It may likewise have a function in the wastewater treatment process itself. Covers can help maintain a constant temperature in the tank which is especially important in anaerobic digestion (AD). The airtight nature of these covers will help accumulate biogas during the AD process. This biogas can be used for other important things like heat generation or electricity production, which helps in lowering the energy costs of the facility.
Tank covers offer the beneficial feature of containing harmful greenhouse gases from escaping into the atmosphere which can further damage the ozone layer. Because the cover protects the water from direct sunlight, there is little to no chance of water evaporation which conserves the water volume. Covers also prevent external debris from contaminating the tanks.
Thomas Nutrient Solutions is made up of long-time Niagara residents with years of experience managing Niagara biosolids. We have worked with some of the largest industrial and resource operations in the world, playing an integral role in the handling and removal of environmentally sensitive by-products of their operations.
If you are a municipality in Ontario and in need of a biosolids management solution, please feel free to contact us on 1 (877) 479-1388.