Development of a diagnostic tool: the wastewater collection network odour wheel

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The assessment of nuisance odour problems and the application of an effective odour management programme for the associated industrial activity may be achieved using a representative odour wheel and Odour Profile Analysis methodology. The odour wheel is a very useful tool for conducting odour quality control monitoring and developing a constructive dialogue regarding nuisance odours with the public. Previously, odours from wastewater treatment plant activities have been identified and described with a dedicated odour wheel. The oxidation state of the organic chemicals responsible for a given odour depends on multiple parameters specific to the individual wastewater collection networks (residence time of wastewater, topographic disposition and network slope, aeration and on line chemical treatment processes). This is especially important for odorous nitrogen, sulfur and volatile fatty acids. Trained sensory odour panels combined with chemical analyses have been used to study wastewater collection network odours and to adapt the wastewater odour wheel accordingly. The wastewater collection network odour wheel has been produced using the results of five sampling campaigns; eight out of the 11 odour families constituting the wastewater odour wheel have been identified and consequently validated for sewer networks. Different groups of odours have been perceived according to the presence or absence of wastewater effluents at the various sampling points.

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