Saline Approves $106,00 to Replace Carbon in Odor Scrubbers

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The City of Saline will spend more than $100,000 to improve odor scrubbers in its wastewater treatment system. By a 7-0 vote Monday, City Council approved the expenditure of up $106,250 to replace carbon in odor scrubbers at the wastewater treatment plant and at one of the lift stations.

The odor scrubbers use activated carbon to clean the air drawn through them. Over time the carbon becomes exhausted and requires replacement.

The cost came as a bit of surprise to the city, which only recently installed new odor scrubbers at the plant and in the system. 

Councillor Jack Ceo asked Bill Briggs, the city's superintendent for the WWTP and water plant, if surprisedrprise to him.

"Kind of. We had a study in August to see what state of function the carbon was in and it was brought to our attention that the carbon was just about exhausted," Briggs said.

The budget will be amended because of the unexpected cost. Briggs recommended these studies be done in January so potential expenses can be included in the budget.

Councillor Janet Dillon asked if the city somehow accelerated the use of carbon or if this is the normal expectancy for carbon.

Briggs said when the carbon was installed, he was told it should last anywhere from 3-8 years depending on how much hydrogen sulfide was being removed. The current carbon was installed in 2019.

Briggs said his employees told him that when the power goes down, shutting down the odor scrubbers, the odor coming off of the plant's rotating biological contactors is very noticeable.

Evidently, the odor scrubbers are working overtime at the city's wastewater treatment plant.

"The fact that (the carbon) didn't last too long is unfortunate, to say the least," Briggs said.

Answering a question from Councillor Kevin Camero-Sulak, Briggs said if there was a warranty on the carbon it was probably for a year, at most.

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