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Many wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are seeing new growth in neighboring areas, along with complaints about odors and pressure from the regulatory agencies who respond to complaints. Some complainants express concern that odors may have adverse health impacts. As WWTPs deal with these issues, they also are urged to reduce costs and to do more with less. This paper summarizes proven and innovative odor assessment tools and evaluation strategies along with case study examples where community outreach programs were coupled with an odor control master plan (OCMP) approach.

The OCMP tool kit uses various proven tools for evaluation of control strategies to strike a balance between treatment in the collection system and at the treatment plant, and for prioritization of control solutions using a cost-effective approach. Proper evaluation and prioritization of control solutions helps to focus attention on areas that achieve the best immediate short- and long-term solutions, so that all parties are clear on what is required and what the final results and costs will be. The OCMP approach consists of:

Chartering a project team (including the community)

Assessing the current situation using source sampling, source prioritization, emissions modeling, and dispersion modeling tools

Formulating, screening, and developing detailed odor control alternatives and their projected costs

Documenting the OCMP

Managing a public outreach program, and implementing OCMP recommendations

The object of this paper is to summarize the tools and approaches that have been used successfully as part of an OCMP approach that can fit into long-range capital improvements planning while gaining community buy-in. The tools presented in this paper can get a community to back a 1- to 5-year capital improvement program that specifically addresses odor control needs while meeting a community-based odor control threshold.

A phased approach often is the most cost-effective and expeditious path. It includes immediate, shortterm (1 to 5 years), and long-term activities for meeting odor control reduction goals. Examples show how these approaches are tied toassessment tools that show noticeable odor reduction, and odor control approaches that can be implemented now and in the short and long term. This approach can be used to show the cost benefit of each step. Case studies are presented that address how to implement an OCMP successfully and the level of community involvement needed to sell the plan. Using effective public outreach tools, it is possible to establish a relationship with the community and to develop a forum in which to discuss concerns, demystify the WWTP operations, and build trust.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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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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