The Spring Creek Pollution Control Facility (SCPCF) located in Centre County, Pennsylvania produces Class A EQ biosolids via an IPS in-vessel agitated composting system with a conventional open bed biofilter for odor reduction. In recent years, however, nuisance odor complaints have been on the rise, stimulating the Authority to retain the HRG/Material Matters team to perform an odor control study (OCS) to quantify major odor emission sources and identify practical mitigation strategies/equipment. Material Matters is employing a combination of well-known and innovative odor evaluation and modeling technologies to identify these odor sources and the odor dispersal potential throughout the valley. The study is in progress, and expected to be completed in tne fall of 2015.
Material Matters worked with the Penn State University (PSU) Odor Assessment Laboratory to employ the PSU steady-state flux chamber (SSFC) system for collection of biosolids off-gas emissions. A major advantage of this unique SSFC system is that emission rates can be determined from gas concentrations and sweep air flow rate. Prior to this study, the PSU system had exclusively been used for livestock manure studies. For this project, Philadelphia biosolids were placed in the SSFC at agronomic rates to simulate emissions expected from surface-applied material in the field.
In 2013, the biosolids land application program at a mid-sized Pennsylvania municipal water reclamation facility was jeopardized due to unrelenting nuisance odor complaints from neighbors near farm fields receiving biosolids. The Authority engaged Material Matters, Inc. to assist with the investigation to improve product quality and develop practical operational protocols for routine monitoring and control. Material Matters conducted a study at the facility to assess the quality of the biosolids generated at the facility, and, in turn, develop a strategy to perform in-house odor testing to improve Class B alkaline-biosolids product quality.