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The Effects of Liquid Sludge Storage on Biosolids Odor Emissions

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Soon after the Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) started operating new centrifuge dewatering and lime stabilization facilities, the County began receiving numerous odor complaints from nearby neighbors. The Arlington County WPCP quickly responded by investigating the causes of the odor complaints. A comprehensive odor study revealed that significant odor emissions were emanating from new odor control scrubbers associated with the new dewatering and stabilization facilities. The odor study showed the new odor control facilities were not effective and liquid sludge storage practices appeared to increase the offensive character of the stabilized biosolids product.

Bench scale studies were performed to evaluate the effects of liquid sludge storage on odor emissions. The bench scale tests provided substantial evidence that storing primary and waste activated sludge created more odorous biosolids, especially if stored more than 24 hours. The bench scale studies also showed that chemical treatment of liquid sludge with chlorine, lime, or iron salts did not significantly reduce odor emissions from the biosolids.

Based on the bench scale tests, the Arlington County WPCP separated the storage of thickened waste activated and primary sludges. Operating and emissions data showed separate storage reduced odor emissions by 50 to 75 percent. Operation and control of the existing scrubbers were also modified. New gas phase chlorine monitors were added and chemical feed systems were improved. The separation of sludges and improvements to the existing scrubbers reduced odor complaints significantly. The Arlington County WPCP is currently designing and constructing further improvements to odor control facilities for liquid and sludge treatment facilities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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