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Odor Is A Top Priority

Dear Hideout Community,
odorcontrol article

Roamingwood Sewer & Water (RS&W) would like to assure the community, that your concerns regarding odors coming from our wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) have been heard and aggressively addressed. We will cover, in this letter, a brief history of the Hideout’s conveyance system, the odors coming from the plant, the causes of these odors and the remediation efforts that have taken place to mitigate this issue going forward.

Although we have addressed in many past articles the lifespan of the original system, we would like to offer a brief history for our newer homeowners in the community. Thirty years ago, the Hideout installed, a community wide drinking water, gravity sewer conveyance system and WWTP. At that time, the WWTP was designed specifically for this system and worked effectively. Throughout the years, however, the system deteriorated to a point, that by 2010, it was experiencing 70% infiltration of groundwater into our influent volume of the sewage treatment system, along with numerous water main breaks. As this deterioration was increasing, modifications had to be made to the existing treatment process, to address a higher volume of groundwater in our waste system. Subsequently, RS&W was required to prepare a mandated Corrective Action Plan in 2010. This was completed with BCM Engineering and in cooperation with PaDEP, to replace the entire water and sewer infrastructure. As of 2018, all three (3) stages have been completed. The completion of this project, in conjunction with the installation of a completely new Low-Pressure Pump System (LPPS), has once again changed the dynamic of our treatment process, ultimately, the primary culprit of our current odor situation. RS&W is now in the process of a fourth (4th) and final stage, a redesign of our WWTP. This design will address process upgrades and modifications, to maintain compliance with regulatory agencies and improve on minimizing odors emitted from the plant. It must be stated, there will never be a 100% eradication of odors, but the appropriate process will reduce it to more infrequent occurrences and significantly less offensive levels.

Odor Control has been a priority and non-stop effort for our staff. RS&W has taken, aggressive measures to minimize odors from the WWTP. Our primary control sources are currently two (2) permanent odor control stations, installed in Stage Two (2) and Stage Three (3) of the Infrastructure Project. These stations are visible on Lakeview Dr E by the dam and Lakeview Dr W across from Deerfield Rd. They inject a chemical called Endimal into the waste system and are increased or decreased in correlation to demand. Additionally, in summer 2019, when the odors were at their highest, an Endimal injection site had been set up at our Headworks, this is where the system first releases the raw sewage to the atmosphere, and it successfully reduced them. What we have seen is the odor issue is being resolved up to the plant, but then are regenerating through our treatment process. Our most recent attempt to mitigate odor, was to inject Endimal directly into our digesters, as this is the area where the source of the odors are emanating. To further mitigate this situation, the frequency of our sludge removal has been increased, to minimize the opportunity for it to emit odors.

RS&W has consulted with several agencies whose primary function is to monitor and mitigate odors, associated with wastewater. Professionals have been brought in to test our sewage and perform air sampling, to calculate the appropriate Endimal dosage rates to minimize odors. It is not just simply a matter of applying a chemical, it is important that we are applying the correct chemical for our needs. Results have indicated the Endimal product is the appropriate chemical for our system’s needs. To ensure this is done efficiently and effectively, specific testing is being performed to ensure the levels we are injecting, are not affecting the Nitrification Process in our WWTP. The odor control buildings monitoring equipment are being integrated into our Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) to allow programming to inject appropriate levels of chemical, as well as, to alert our staff to issues. This allows our staff to remediate the issues more quickly and efficiently. RS&W has also recently purchased three (3) air sampling instruments to assist in continually optimizing any odors from the wastewater system.

We appreciate your frustrations, and while we await the groundbreaking to renovate the WWTP, all measures and resources available to our organization, will be pursued to minimize the odors that occur, in the areas around the plant.

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