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Ambient Odor Survey

The Problem
As part of their overall strategy for odour control the Region of Peel required some means of real-time monitoring odour impacts in the neighbouring areas around the Lakeview Wastewater Treatment Plant during the summer of 2002. At that time Peel had a process upgrade project underway at the wastewater plant which was expected to reduce off-property odour impacts. There was also a concern that there were some impacts on the community from other odour sources not associated with Lakeview plant operations.

Our Approach
ZORIX Environmental designed a program with three complementary elements: odour complaint analysis, odour complaint response program, and community ambient odour surveys. The complaint analysis task utilized ZORIX’s proprietary OSMap odour source mapping software in order to pinpoint the source of odour emission based on both new and historical complaints and meteorological data. ZORIX staff also responded to residents’ complaints when they occurred by traveling to the complaint location and monitoring odour, hydrogen sulphide and meteorological conditions in order to verify the presence of odours and their probable source. Community odour surveys consisted of twice-weekly scheduled ambient surveys in the neighbouring areas of the plant using a team of trained observers (odour surveyors) following a structured assessment protocol.

The Solution
The three-pronged approach provided considerable insight into the impact of odours in the nearby communities. The analysis of complaint data and the complaint response program both verified that Lakeview was the most significant source of odour nuisance in the community; however other sources of nuisance odour were also noted. The community odour survey also confirmed the continuing impact of the plant, but showed that the odour impact was gradually reduced over the course of the summer as beneficial process upgrades at the plant were implemented.

The ambient assessment provided the Region of Peel with a good understanding of the impact of the plant and the effect of the mitigation measures that were being undertaken. This not only provided valuable information for planning and targeting further odour control steps, but also demonstrated Peel’s proactive and caring approach in addressing community concerns with respect to nuisance odours.