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Impact of the New European Odor Testing Standard on Wastewater Treatment Facilities

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With the global increase of environmental regulations in the 1970's, European countries, Australia, and the United States began to develop odor regulations. These regulations created the need to standardize the methods of odor measurement. Some examples of these standards include: US - ASTM D-1391 (1978) and ASTM E679-91(1991), Germany - VDI 3881 (1980), France - AFNOR - X-43-101 (1986), Netherlands - NVN2820 (1996).

In 1990 the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) formed a technical committee (TC264) which developed a draft odor sampling and testing standard. The draft standard, prEN13725 (“pr” means proposed) will be released as a final standard in early 2002, entitled EN13725: “Air Quality-Determination of Odour Concentration by Dynamic Olfactometry.” EN13725 will unify the odor sampling and testing standards of 18 countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). EN13725 follows ISO 9000 quality assurance and scientific testing protocols. Australia and New Zealand have combined to write a new odor-testing standard essentially identical to the CEN draft.

A consortium of odor laboratories in Canada and the United States initially approached the proposed European odor-testing standard with caution and with a number of questions. There were concerns regarding the presentation flow rate (20-lpm), the detailed procedural requirements, and the assessor screening and selection processes. However, the experiences of adopting the proposed standard over the past five years has convinced the laboratories of the benefits of this one unifying odor testing standard.

While Universities and research laboratories are moving towards adopting the European odor-testing standard, there is also a trend of regulatory agencies, engineering firms, and sanitation district in the U.S. in adopting the European standard as an odor measurement tool for monitoring and compliance. This new European odor testing standard, due for official acceptance and publication in early 2002, is poised to become a global standard of odor testing; a de facto “International Standard”.

This paper discusses implementing and utilizing the new European Odor Testing Standard, EN13725 for odor testing related to wastewater treatment processes and facilities.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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