Challenges in Designing an Odor Control System to Make a 32 mgd WWTP Odor Free

City of Bakersfield located in Kern County, CA, is carrying out a major expansion to one of its wastewater treatment plants called Plant 3. Currently, Plant 3 treats about 15 mgd of wastewater flow with a design capacity of 16 mgd, on an Annual Average Dry Weather Flow (AADWF) basis. The current expansion will take the existing plant to an AADWF capacity of 32 mgd. As part of the expansion, a brand new odor control system is designed to serve the expanded plant. The challenge of this project is to design a reliable, cost-effective and low O&M intensive odor control system to serve all the sources of foul air generation to make the expanded plant comply with an odor limit of 5 Odor Units (OU) at the plant boundary.

Plant 3 currently operates an odor control system for its existing odor sources. The existing system was a chemical wet scrubbing system provided by US Filter/RJ Environmental to handle a foul air flow rate of 14,000 scfm from headworks and primary clarifiers at a peak H2S concentration of 25 ppm. The City has expressed concerns over the operation, maintenance and performance of the system. It is the City’s intention to abandon the existing chemical odor control system and install a new, larger capacity state-ofthe-art system to serve the expanded plant.

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