What is an access cover?
Odour management and control is a high priority for municipal and industrial wastewater applications. Organic waste and chemicals create the perfect environment for offensive odours to form. An effective management system includes chemical dosing to limit the production of H2S.
Activated carbon filters and biofilters are also used to scrub gases before they are discharged to the atmosphere. But, one element of an odour management and control system that is often overlooked is the use of access covers.
What is an access cover?
Access covers are like large trap doors that allow access for workers to pump stations, which form part of municipal and industrial wastewater systems.
Wastewater pump stations are positioned at low points in the collection/transportation network. Wastewater transported by the pipeline network discharges into the pump station's collection well. It remains stored in the well until sufficient volume is collected to initiate a pump operation to purge the well and send the wastewater on to the next section of the network.
Odours emitted from wastewater stored in the well are vented to atmosphere via vent shafts of sufficient height to dissipate odours, or through odour control filters. However, fugitive odours can escape at ground level from insufficiently sealed hatch covers, bypassing vent shafts and odour filters.
Insufficiently sealed pump stations could become a constant source of odours and tension with the surrounding community. Well designed and engineered access covers seal these areas, allowing worker access when needed, but preventing odours from contaminating the environment. It is also an important requirement of the covers that they afford safe access to wells, with failsafe fall protection.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about access covers and their features:
1) What safety measures do OdourPro access covers have and how do they prevent falls?
OdourPro access covers have grate systems that do not interfere with pump rails. Each well has its own grating so that workers cannot fall into an adjacent well.
Lock boxes are mounted flush which eliminates the trip hazards associated with large locks protruding above the surface.
A major hazard related to access covers is due to their weight. The covers themselves are too heavy for a single person to handle, but OdourPro covers come with a stainless-steel compression lift assist spring. This ensures that any size cover falls within the weight limits for a single man lift.
2) What security measures do OdourPro access covers have?
Lock boxes allow for the fitment of padlocks giving a secure form of access control.
3) What features do OdourPro access covers have to make them easy to use for workers?
The lift assist spring on OdourPro access covers reduces the complexity of working on pump stations. Most municipal and industrial organisations have staff limitations and removing the need to allocate extra resources for lifting and replacing access covers helps reduce the labour burden.
In addition, lift assist springs reduce injuries to workers by improving the ergonomics and ease of operation.
4) What is the lifespan and guarantee for OdourPro access covers?
OdourPro supplies access covers manufactured by Halliday in the United States. They are made from marine grade aluminium with SAE 316 stainless steel components. Full stainless-steel construction options are also available. OdourPro offers a lifetime guarantee on our access covers.
5) Do OdourPro access covers blend-in with the urban environment?
Our access covers are painted with a non-slip coating in the customer's choice of colour. The gratings are powder coated with a safety orange colour to make workers aware of hazards when the covers are in the raised position.
6) Are there standard sizes for access covers or can they be customised to suit any hatch opening?
OdourPro access covers are fully customisable. This means they can be configured to replace existing covers that don’t meet WHS regulations without expensive civil works to modify the opening size.
7) What is the sealing mechanism for preventing odour emissions?
Halliday access covers supplied by OdourPro have three distinct features that prevent odour emissions:
Access covers frames are cast in and sealed to the concrete with non-ozone-depleting bituminous coating. This prevents emissions from around the side of the frame.
A built-in neoprene gasket seals the access cover. The gasket limits air infiltration to less than 1 CFM.
A unique channel design prevents debris from laying across the neoprene seal, which would break the contact between the seal and the lid allowing odours to escape.
Access covers are often overlooked as an odour control tool for municipal and industrial wastewater. A non-compliant access cover can be a source of emissions and odours to the community and a safety risk for workers.
OdourPro supplies marine grade aluminium and stainless-steel access covers that meet WHS regulations and have lift assist springs for worker safety.
OdourPro on 21 November 2016
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