Sewers Get a Breath of Fresh Air

by James C. Wernicke, Pres.; Diversified Engineering Servivices, Inc., New Orleans, LA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 8, Pg. 67-69

Document Type: Feature article


Domestic sewage pump stations and treatment facilities have long been plagued by corrosion and odor problems caused by hydrogen sulfide. It is also extremely toxic. Sulfide production can be prevented if aerobic conditions in the wastewater are maintained. In gravity sewers, aerobic conditions are promoted by designing for high wastewater flow velocities. In force mains, however, aeration of the wastewater requires an induced process. About 100 installations in the United Kingdom and Australia and about 25 in the U.S. use pure oxygen for sulfide control in force mains. Capital costs for a system vary according to the size of the unit, from $25,000 to $200,000. A typical oxygen station consists of a storage tank, vaporizer, controls and injection system. Cryogenic oxygen tanks are available in several package sizes ranging from 500 gal. to 13,000 gal. This article describes the methodology and operation of installations using the aeration process, with consideration given to safety factors and design requirements.

Subject Headings: Sulfides | Wastewater management | Oxygen | Sewers | Pumping stations | Pressure pipes | Aeration | Storage tanks | United Kingdom | Europe | Australia

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