Have you noticed an increase in odor lately?  Several factors are currently contributing to an increase in odors at the Cedar Rapids Water Pollution Control Facility (CRWPCF).  Learn More

The creation of odor when treating wastewater is unavoidable, but the Cedar Rapids Water Pollution Control Facility (CRWPCF) has taken several steps to reduce the odor emissions of the facility. 

Addition of anaerobic treatment
Industrial waste contains a larger concentration of organic material than residential waste and can strain the treatment process and generate additional odors if not carefully controlled.  To address this issue the CRWPCF built an anaerobic treatment system that allows industrial waste to be processed separately.  This process creates methane gas that can then be used to fuel the facility’s sewage sludge incinerator.

Covering parts of the process 
There are several steps in the wastewater treatment process that can release hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S).  CRWPCF has covered several processes to capture the odorous air.    This captured air is then treated in a biological process to reduce the hydrogen sulfide gas content.

Scrubbing the exhaust air
CRWPCF uses chemical scrubbers to reduce odorous air emitting from various sources in the treatment process.  These scrubbers are designed to reduce the amount of pollutants released by the facility.

What do you smell?
When people detect an odor near the wastewater treatment facility, it is most often caused by hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S), a gas commonly found at wastewater treatment facilities.  Hydrogen sulfide has a very strong odor (often described as a rotten egg smell) that can be detected at very low concentrations.

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