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Collection System Air Emissions: Controlling H2S and VOCs

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It takes a thorough understanding of the inlet odorous characteristics from a complex wastewater collecting system interceptor network of a very large city like Los Angeles to determine the type of technology necessary to comply with H2S and total VOC permit discharge limits. The City of Los Angeles (City) has an extensive collection system that is over 6,000 miles (9700km) in length and consists of shallow and deep pipes, drop structures and inverted siphons across eight major interceptors. Owners, like the City, are experienced and comfortable with vapor phase H2S control systems for extracted collection system odorous air streams, but complying with total volatile organic compounds (VOCs) total non-methane hydrocarbon (TNMHC) limits provides a wrinkle that represents unchartered territory for most agencies. The first challenge is in understanding the analytical approaches to quantifying total VOCs/TNMHCs and making sure the results from those procedures are consistent with the applicable discharge permit requirements. In this case earlier testing suggested they were not, and so separate independent speciated procedures were required. The second challenge was evaluating and identifying proven technologies that could consistently remove H2S and total VOCs/TNMHCs to levels that would comply with permit limits.

Keywords: Collection System; Odor Control; Odors; TNMHC Sampling; VOCs

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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