Information On Hydrogen Sulfide Reduction In Sewer Systems

By Harriett Crosby

Hydrogen gas is produced in sewer systems, swamps, in volcanic and natural gas. Its production is after organic materials are broken down in absence of oxygen. The most common characteristic of this gas is its smell. It usually smells like rotten and this can explain why sewage system usually produces a foul smell of rotten eggs. This article thus provides information on hydrogen sulfide reduction and why it is important.

When thinking of this gas in waste water, the concern is mostly its odor and corrosion effects. More often than not, people living near sewer systems usually complain of the odors coming from the system. The corrosion problem results when the gas produced in the sewer atmosphere combines with water to form hydro sulfuric acid. This acid is the one responsible for corroding the sewer infrastructure.

These negative effects of the gas to sewage system and the environment led to certain control measures to be devised. These measures were to reduce and ultimately control production of this gas. The first method of control is addition of a strong alkali such as magnesium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide to the waste water. The effect of this is increase of the sewer pH and thus limited formation of the sulfide gas.

Another way devised to control the odor problems is through addition of chemical compounds also known as chemical treatment. The most used compounds in this treatment are chlorine compounds like sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, ferric chloride and bleach. They are added to the sewage and they oxidize the sulfides hence preventing formation of the gas.

But with this chemical treatment, certain requirements have to be met. First there needs to be a feed system established from which the chemicals are pumped into the waste water. This feed system might take some time and even money to be established. Another thing is that the feeding system needs to be monitored constantly to ensure it is working well. At all times, safety measures must always be considered.

To resolve corrosion issues, the environmental specialists have come with measures to increase ventilation in the sewage infrastructure to prevent anaerobic conditions for bacteria. Apart from this, contractors of the systems are now using sewer pipes and tanks with protective coatings on the inner sides. The coatings used include; vinyl, tar products, polythene linings, cement among other materials to protect the system against corrosion.

The other method of corrosion control is crown and manhole spraying. Usually, corrosion is worst at the crown of the pipe since the acid collects at this point. This causes the pipe to weaken and eventually collapse if the problem is persistent. Spraying a Sulfa Lock Hi Gel onto the manhole and sewer surfaces protects them from harsh effects of the acid.

The last measure is through the use of a monitoring meter known as the liquid phase sulfide meter to measure amount of sulfide in wastes that come from industries. Therefore when the sulfides are above a certain measure, the wastes have to undergo pre treatment process first they are taken to the sewer system. From this article, we learn on the different measures of hydrogen sulfide reduction in waste water collection systems. Specialists are still researching on other advanced methods to curb this problem.

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