News Flash • Solution in Place for Septic Odor at Pleasant V

In response to complaints of a persistent odor at Pleasant Valley Road and Highway 20, the Nevada County Wastewater Department installed two vaults that house an odor control mechanism. This allows pipes to drain contaminated air beneath the media in the vaults and remove unpleasant odors before the air reaches the surface. Many municipalities have successfully used biofilter media.

“I would like to congratulate the Lake Wildwood Treatment Plant Wastewater Department for resolving the problem at the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and Penn Valley Drive,” said Sue Hoek, District 4 Supervisor. “Both new filters have been installed, so I think people in this area will be very happy with this change.”

The new system is designed to dramatically reduce the noxious odor, a persistent problem at this intersection, emanating from pipes installed in 2019 that carry septic tank wastewater to the Lake Wildwood Wastewater Treatment Plant. The culprit is hydrogen sulfide, a gas produced by bacteria in the wastewater stream.

“We are cautiously optimistic that this is a long-term solution and will keep an eye on the new system. In the warmer months the gas is more persistent. We hope that the smell will be significantly reduced. However, we recognize that even with the latest technology, it may still be present at times,” said Brad Torres, wastewater program manager. “Our team will continue to monitor this site and evaluate the new solution.”

The original odor control system in the problem area experienced component failures (oxygen generator, recirculation pump, oxygen sensors) that rendered the equipment ineffective. Next, the county launched a pilot program that added chemicals to inhibit the growth of the offending bacteria. However, this proved to be expensive and did not produce the desired results in eliminating the odor.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call (530) 265-1411 or email [email protected].

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