Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Data Based Management of an Odor Control Program – A Case History in Program Improvement


The Sanitation District 1 (SD1) located in northern Kentucky changed the structure and nature of the odor control program with positive results. A disciplined and data based odor control program was implemented in 2005. A supplier was selected to supply an odor control program and deliver results at various control points versus fragmented purchasing of products and technologies. Data is rigorously collected at each control site on a monthly basis and reported to SD1 by the odor control suppler. SD1 uses the data including hydrogen sulfide vapor concentrations to optimize the chemical addition program. The rigorous and data based approach to odor control has resulted in several positive benefits to SD1 as follows:

  1. Better customer service – SD1 has logged significantly less odor complaints from over 50 in 2004 trending less than 10 for 2006 (2 to date).
  2. Improved trend in chemical control – SD1 has measured significant improvement in quantity of chemicals used on a daily, monthly and annual basis by 25% (Jan-May 2006)
  3. Better performance from chemical purchased – Lower concentration of hydrogen sulfide is emitted.
  4. Teamwork and accountability from the supplier – Supplier is involved in the odor complaint response process.
  5. Improved program management – Proactive ability to forecast seasonal hydrogen sulfide loading and make adjustments to prevent hydrogen sulfide emission.

This work will elaborate on the methods used and measurable results generated from the approach to odor control utilized by SD1.

Proper odor and corrosion control is a critical element in the long term satisfaction of stakeholders to the operation of wastewater collection and treatment systems. In 2005 the Sanitation District 1 located in northern Kentucky completed an upgrade to the odor control program in servicing the wastewater collection and treatment system. The odor control program upgrade included the following processes and changes:

  1. Restructured odor control contract with focus on results.
  2. Equipment upgrades.
  3. Data based management of odor control points.
  4. Vender accountability to odor complaint responses, service and reporting.
  5. Multiple technologies and chemistries provided under one supplier.
  6. Single source versus fragmented commodity purchasing.

The number of pump stations and length of force mains combined with the proximity of residents provide a high level of sensitivity to odor control by the district. Changes in the odor control program have reduced the number of odor complaints from greater than 50 in 2004 to less than 30 for all of 2005 and down to 2 pertinent complaints through five months of 2006. Better performance has allowed the district to focus on core activities with maintenance and operation of the existing collection and treatment system.

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