Better odour management can save water utilities $900K a year

EnviroSuite Pty Ltd

By Sustainability Matters Staff
Monday, 15 May, 2017


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Australian technology provider EnviroSuite has discovered through an independent cost assessment that effective odour management can save single urban water utility sites up to $900,000 per year.

Titled ‘Turning Environmental Challenges into Operational Savings’, the cost assessment highlights costs associated with the odour management across private and public infrastructure. The research was conducted by using odour management data collected from EnviroSuite’s existing sites, as well as additional consultation with economists and public water utilities.

“We identified how odour issues were managed traditionally, the cost of managing this issue, the costs involved when things go wrong or when systems are running inefficiently, and the overall cost of documentation and reporting,” said EnviroSuite Managing Director Robin Ormerod.

“We found these costs to be significant. There are costs associated with odour relating to analysing an issue, locating an issue or source, paying fines to compliance and regulatory bodies and costs involved with liaising with the community. The list goes on.”

In fact, EnviroSuite identified seven key areas of costs related to the management of odour issues. They are:

  1. Unnecessary investment in expensive control technologies.
  2. Reduction in property value in nearby communities.
  3. Higher operating costs associated with odour management.
  4. Undiagnosed process upsets (suboptimal performance).
  5. Management and resolution of complaints.
  6. Lawsuits from regulators, community groups and developers.
  7. Regulatory penalties related to odour management.

“Traditional methods of odour management are generally reactive and costly,” explained Ormerod. “Predictive technologies for odour management are the key to controlling the cost of managing odour because they allow operational teams to respond to issues before they occur.”

For example, Ormerod noted that odour management is very sensitive to local weather conditions — with this in mind, predictive technology can be used to forecast when potential odour issues could occur.

“Controls can be implemented only when they are needed, where traditionally they would be used 24/7, resulting in a significant reduction in maintenance costs,” he said.

“Better employment of predictive technologies can help organisations respond to issues far more quickly by actively monitoring for odour, and can pinpoint the source of that odour to allow teams to respond to the issue immediately.”

Ormerod said the company looks forward to sharing the results of the study at Ozwater’17, to be held at ICC Sydney, 16–18 May. He stated, “We’re certain there will be some interesting discussions around odour management and urban water utilities over the coming days.”

Image credit: ©olly/Dollar Photo Club

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