Odor Control at the JWPCP

The Joint Water Pollution Control Plant (JWPCP) is committed to make every effort to eliminate the migration of fugitive odors from the plant to the surrounding communities. Since 2000, the Sanitation Districts have spent, or will spend, in excess of $71.5 million in various efforts to reduce odors and air emissions from the JWPCP.

  • Several areas within Primary Treatment, namely the inlet works forebays, grit chambers, interconnecting channels, sedimentation tank batteries, and raw sludge and skimmings wet wells, have been retrofitted with airtight, flat, gasketed, aluminum covers at a cost of approximately $6.5 million to reduce odors. Air trapped underneath these covers, excluding the sedimentation tank batteries, is directed to a $10 million state-of-the-art, two-stage treatment process that includes biotrickling scrubbers followed by activated carbon.
  • The air trapped under the sedimentation tank covers, skimmings trough covers, and primary effluent channel covers is directed to another two-stage process that also includes biotrickling scrubbers followed by activated carbon. Three independent systems, installed at a cost of $32 million, control each of the three Primary Treatment sedimentation tank batteries.
  • A $23 million project to control odors from the Solids Processing biosolids storage silos, biosolids conveyors, and two truck loading stations provides for the collection of the foul air and its transport to two independent biofilter treatment systems.

The Sanitation Districts have made considerable investments in odor control efforts and have conducted award-winning odor control research at the JWPCP (2006, California Association of Sanitation Agencies Technical Achievement Award; 1999, Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies Research and Technology Award; 1997, California Water Environment Research Achievement of the Year). However, the Sanitation Districts acknowledge that improvements in odor control at JWPCP are still necessary. A team of consulting engineers, design engineers, operations engineers, research engineers, operators, maintenance workers, electrical and instrumentation technicians, and chemists are continually engaged in the effort to operate, maintain, and upgrade the JWPCP's odor control systems.