A guide to odour management in NSW
New South Wales is known for its wine, wilderness and natural wonders along with the iconic city of Sydney. Over 4 million people live in Sydney itself, while the State has 7.5 million people impacting the air quality.
Owing to its distinct environment and growing population, the Environmental Protection Authority of NSW upholds its mandate to reduce pollution and waste, protect human health, and prevent degradation of the environment.
Odour Control falls under the EPA, which has the power to issue large fines for non-compliance. A flour mill was recently fined a total of $30,000 for two separate incidents at their facility, which caused unpleasant odours for its neighbours.
Odour complaints are the most common heard on the NSW EPA hotline, leading to investigations and penalties where appropriate.
Industries that cause odours
Odours are produced by various kinds of industry and commercial activities. It's important to understand the risks of your industry, as well as the safeguards to prevent odour emissions.
Municipal wastewater is a common source of odour complaints due to the breakdown of organic material in the sewage systems. Odours can be released from wastewater treatment plants, pump stations or sewer vents. The most common odour in this industry is that of H2S gas, often compared rotten eggs.
Landfills and solid waste management facilities also generate odours from the wide variety of wastes they deal with. They face the additional challenge of large and diffuse sources, which are difficult to contain and treat. Composting facilities also fit into this category.
Industrial wastewater contains many different compounds depending on the nature of the industrial process. Factors affecting odours from industrial wastewater include pH, oil content and the quantity of specific odorous chemicals.
Livestock, food and dairy processing and abattoirs, the odour sources are similar. Manure, waste products and wastewater are all potential sources of odour and therefore the cause of odour complaints.
How to handle odour complaints
As part of the EPA’s Odour Management Framework, operators are encouraged to develop a direct communication channel between themselves and the local community. This gives the operator opportunity to communicate incidents proactively and facilitate complaints before they escalate.
A typical complaints system may include the following elements:
- A hotline to receive complaints.
- A system for recording complaints and the operator’s responses
- An investigation process to identify the source of the odour
- A method to provide feedback to the complainant about the results of the investigation and any corrective action taken.
Odour control methods
Identifying the source of odour is the first step in an odour management process. The next step is choosing an odour control method to manage odours produced from your facility.
Chemical dosing is designed to reduce the production of H2S gas from sewage, industrial effluent and waste water. OdourPro supplies magnesium hydroxide, ferrous chloride and calcium nitrate dosing agents.
Carbon filters reduce toxic gases, VOCs and odours by up to 99%. These systems are very effective where vapour streams can be isolated and routed through a filter.
Biofiltration operates on a similar principle to carbon filters, except that the filter medium is microbiological rather than activated carbon. Biofilters are good for organic odour sources where the offending vapour stream can be isolated and routed through a filter.
Boundary fence treatments offer relief through misting and vapour systems that release odour treatment agents directly into the air. As these reactants mix with odours in the air, they neutralise them, preventing offensive odours from spreading.
Developing an odour management plan
The NSW EPA has developed a technical framework for odour control in the State. It begins with an assessment of site location, before the business even sets up operation.
Odour management plans help you to think through the odour issues of your facility in a systematic way. OdourPro has a tried and tested method, that addresses the major steps of managing odours from any facility in any industry:
- Define the scope and terms of reference
- Describe the activities of the site in an overview
- Identify odour sources
- Select odour control strategies
- Monitor results
- Implement a complaints procedure
- Review the plan regularly
Contact OdourPro for odour control in NSW
OdourPro has a proven track record in odour management built up over 25-years. Our case studies demonstrate our capabilities across a wide range of industries. We offer odour management consulting services to help you become and maintain your compliance to the NSW EPA requirements.
OdourPro on 21 November 2016
Do your access covers meet Australian Standards? Discover the common signs of non-compliant access covers here ...Read more