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Odour measurement in wastewater treatment plant using both European and Japanese standardized methods: correlation and comparison study

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Corresponing Author: 
Tiziano Zarra (
Naddeo V., Zarra T., Kubo A., Uchida N., Higuchi T. and Belgiorno V.
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Odours discharged from wastewater treatment plants generally cause severe damage to locals. When facility odors affect air quality and cause citizen complaints, an investigation of those odours may require using standardized scientific methods. Odour intensity is one of the main odour characterization parameter, and represents an important sensory indicator of environmental odours.

Presently, different international standards have been developed for the measurement of odours. Main consolidated methods are the measurement of odour index assessed by panelists, standardized in Japan and developed there more than 40 years ago; and the measured of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometer according to European standard EN13725:2003.

In this study odour samples were collected on a municipal wastewater treatment plant to investigate the relationship between odour index assessed by Japanese standard methods and odour concentration measured with dynamic olfactometry. A monthly sampling and relative odour measurement were carried out for consecutive 8 months at the Laboratory of the Sanitary Environmental Engineering Division (SEED) at the University of Salerno (Italy).

Results show a strong linear correlation between the two investigated odour measurement methods, in the case of the measurement of high concentrations. While at lower odour concentrations were observed a difference between the two methods.

dynamic olfactometry, EN13725:2003, human assessor, odor concentration, triangle odor bag method.