Help! My Package WWTP Stinks!

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Many small businesses barely exceed the threshold requiring some type of on-site treatment system in place of a traditional septic system. On-site treatment systems are often marketed and sold as complete “packages.” The advantage offered by these systems is their compact design, allowing for more treatment in a smaller space. However, the installation of one of these systems means that a small business is now the operator of a WWTP, whether it is ready for that responsibility or not.

Package systems cycle between aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic phases to achieve solids reduction, and this cycling creates odor potential. Successful solutions to package WWTP odor concerns identify the tolerance level for odors based on the facility location, proximity to the closest receptors (often the facility itself), the image it seeks to portray, and the public-relations concern caused by past odor incidents.

This paper reviews a number of issues and concerns related to packaged wastewater treatment plants. A variety of experiences with different facility types are included in the discussion, based on Tech Environmental's project history. Since odor is a complex human reaction and the facilities grappling with these issues are not dedicated wastewater-treatment facilities, the challenges presented by package WWTP odor concerns are complex. This paper seeks to boil down the essential topics and the most successful solutions.

Keywords: Amphidrome; Odor control; backwash; hydrogen sulfide; package WWTP

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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