Project to control odors at wastewater plant

By: By Jessica Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 05, 2014 03:33 pm

Jamie Greenshields, operations project co-ordinator with the Town of Okotoks, stands near the water treatment facility where an odour control filter is currently being installed.
Jamie Greenshields, operations project co-ordinator with the Town of Okotoks, stands near the water treatment facility where an odour control filter is currently being installed.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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Residents south of the Okotoks Wastewater Treatment Plant won’t be holding their noses for much longer, with a new $1.3 million odour control filter set to be operational by May.

The intent behind the odour control project, which was approved by council in the 2013 capital budget with a price tag of $1.379 million, is to capture as much of the hydrogen sulfide from the wastewater facilities as possible and treat it.

“Over a number of years there have been some complaints emanating out of the wastewater treatment plant…the odour control that was initially put in place was a bio reactor off the composting side of things,” said Dave Robertson, operations manager for the Town.

“The bio reactor wasn’t doing it.”

When development took off on the south side of the river in Cimarron and the Southbank business park complaints about a smell started coming in.

“As people moved in it became an issue,” Robertson said.

The Town’s response was to purchase an odour filter for the wastewater treatment plant, which is managed by Epcor Water Services.

Craig Bonneville, senior manager Southern Alberta for Epcor’s Water and Waste Water Services, says when the 32 Street Bridge opened, it brought more traffic to the area.

“The performance of the plant hasn’t changed since the major upgrade in 2005, I just think there are more noses closer to it,” he said. “The odours get carried by the wind, that’s where the prevailing winds go.”

Bonneville said the most common odour is the smell of H2S gas.

“Some people call it sewer gas, others call it a rotten egg smell,” Bonneville said.

Bonneville says the new filtering unit will decrease the hydrogen sulfide released into the air by 99 per cent.

“I think it’ll make a big difference,” he said.

In a report to council last week, Bonneville identified the three major sources of odour as the waste sludge tank, the solids handling and the primary clarifier at the wastewater treatment plant.

“What this system is designed to do is to capture the odours vented from various buildings at the wastewater treatment plant and run them through a two-stage filtering process. It runs odours through a two-stage filtering process, the median there absorbs odour constituents and vents out non-odourous air.”


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