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This paper focuses on the basics behind the development of odor sampling procedures, and more importantly what they mean for representative sampling, emission estimating and modeling.

While sampling methods remain constant regardless of data need, in many cases the usefulness of the data are dependent on the type of sample collected. For example, if a sample is collected to quantify an existing source it may be more useful to analyze each emission point separately, such as roof vents or open doors. However, if the goal is to sample a source to estimate loading for a new odor control system, samples from interior process might be more beneficial. Potential sample locations, based on data need, will be discussed.

Both total odor and pollutant specific sampling and analytical methods are discussed in this paper. Based on the data need, a decision to examine total odor or pollutant specific odors is discussed. Typically new odor control design requires pollutant specific sampling and facility impact analyses require total odor quantification, but based on the type of odor, this may not be the case.

Odors can be generated as a byproduct of chemicals added at the plant, like polymers or lime, and any odorous compounds inherent in the waste stream. Pollutant specific sampling may focus on sulfur containing organic compounds such as dimethyl sulfides or mercaptans or other specific byproduct organic compounds or inorganic compounds like ammonia

Samples collected at wastewater treatment plants can be evaluated in either a sensory or chemical manner. Sensory analysis includes odor panel testing whereas chemical analysis involves sample collection and laboratory analysis.

Combining sample analysis results and EPA approved dispersion models can help understand receptor impacts. Dispersion models use meteorological data to predict neighborhood concentrations of odors.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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