Odorous emissions from wastewater biosolids processing can cause nuisance impacts to the surrounding community. Odour Wheels are an effective tool for environmental odour management, but have yet to be provided for wastewater biosolids processing. Emissions throughout the biosolids processing from eight wastewater treatment plants, each with different unit operation configurations, were surveyed to identify odorants present and their olfactory properties. Chemical and olfactory methods identified a range of odorants and odours emitted throughout biosolids processing. Within the biosolids processing locations studied Sulfur type odours, described as rotten eggs or cabbage, were typically encountered. However, there was also a varying presence of Rancid/putrid and Faecal/manure type odours. Odour Wheels were generated to communicate both the olfactory and chemical components of emissions which were measured throughout biosolids processing. Examples based on the operation of the eight wastewater treatment plants were used to demonstrate how the Odour Wheels can be used as an onsite odour management aid.
The paper demonstrates how Odour Wheels can be prepared using chemical and olfactory measurements and then used to communicate olfactory properties, as well as identify the causes of nuisance emissions throughout biosolids processing at wastewater treatment plants. The linking of odours and odorants to process conditions throughout biosolids processing facilitates effective abatement and management practices.