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Successful Odor Control in the Heart of Fort Collins, Colorado

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The Mulberry Water Reclamation Facility (MWRF) is located in the heart of Fort Collins, Colorado. It is surrounded by residential developments, retail stores, light industrial areas, recreational areas, a popular bike path and a golf course. Due to odor complaints, Fort Collins Utilities (FCU) decided to implement an odor control study in 2002 to determine and document the odor impacts from MWRF along with possible odor mitigation alternatives. In 2006, the odor control study was completed and paved the way for developing a mitigation plan and odor control system design. Numerous technologies were evaluated based on several criteria. These included sustainability, constructability, and chemical-free operation. FCU, and the city's long-term design-engineer and contractor (comprehensively referred to as the Alternative Project Delivery System [APDS] team) collaborated and selected a two-stage odor control system with an organic biofilter followed by an activated carbon scrubber as the most suitable system.

The system is a unique design in which the highly odorous areas of the MWRF (including the headworks building, splitter boxes, grit basin, and anoxic zone weirs) are collected and treated in the biofilter. The biofilter exhaust is then collected, mixed with air from the less odorous areas (activated sludge basins) and sent through a cross-flow horizontal dual bed carbon filter. The system is currently designed for process airflow of approximately 13,275 acfm. In the future, when the MWRF treatment processes expand, the odor control system will be capable of treating a total of 17,400 acfm. The two stage system has been operating since March, 2011 and to date FCU has not had a single odor complaint or noticeable odor. This report describes the odor study and evaluation process, as well as the odor control system's design and operational criteria. A summary of the post-commissioning operational experiences is also presented.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2012

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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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