Personal tools
You are here: Home Knowledge center Case histories Odour control case histories
Document Actions

Odour control case histories

Three odour control case histories

Case history: treating odour 1

A popular shopping centre in a busy, congested suburb was experiencing odours on all of its three floors. Some days it was worse than others, usually first thing in the mornings, and never very strong, just a faintly unpleasant 'stale' smell that emanated throughout the public areas of the building.

BIO-SYSTEMS SA, who was already servicing the grease traps of one food retail outlet in the complex, was approached by centre management to find out if we had an air freshening system more effective than the one in use at the time. Before we could provide an anecdote, we needed to investigate.

We found the main food court grease trap in the goods receiving basement in dire need of a clean. The waste holding area and compactor room were far from clean, too - especially the wet waste bins, which, although emptied by a contractor, were soiled and smelling badly. The trap itself was missing a lid and had not been properly washed for some time - the baskets were brimming with congealed fat scum on the surface and sides. The battery of air conditioning intake fans on the opposite wall, some 15m to 20m away, 'inhaled' odour from above the waste area and neglected grease trap. We were told that whenever the grease trap was cleaned the smell in the malls got worse – the reason, apparently, for letting 'sleeping dogs lie!'

CH: odour - junk detail  Food court waste area before BIO-SYSTEMS clean up

CH: odour - food court before  Food court grease trap in need of a clean

Having discovered the problem, BIO-SYSTEMS SA got the order to 'deep clean' the entire waste area, including the trap. This had to be done at night because of daytime delivery traffic and also due to the presumed odour our activities would unleash.

We set about the grease trap first. We removed 19 x 15kg bags (approx 285kg) of wet waste sludge and fat scum. Then we moved all the empty cardboard cartons and waste bins to one side and pressure cleaned the whole area - trap, compactor and all - with BIO-SYSTEMS HSDG, before brushing the floors down with BIO-SYSTEMS L2120. Having inoculated the 900lt trap with BIO-SYSTEMS B220R, we advised centre management to warn their waste contractor about the wet waste 'wheelie bins' – they have since sub-contracted a company to sanitize their wheelies on a weekly basis.

Since our first visit almost four years ago, BIO-SYSTEMS SA calls once a week to service the grease trap. We also deep clean the waste room floor once every six months (we charge roughly R3,085.00 + Vat per month for this combined service). The centre has cancelled their deal with the odour suppressor, which we understand, was costing them in excess of R6k pm. In addition, they save on ineffective 'in-house' cleaners to look after the trap.

All tenants in the centre reported improved trading as a result of the building becoming odour free.

Case history: treating odour 2

Back in the year 2000, an aging supermarket in a rundown shopping centre that was due for an upgrade, suffered from a terrible 'stale' smell throughout the store. Customers did not really complain; they just went elsewhere to buy their groceries.

As a member of a large retail chain, the store's turnover fell behind that of other franchises. BIO-SYSTEMS was contracted to manage the stores effluent systems and asked to investigate. We discovered that the floor of the fish shop cold room posed a few problems. We arranged to pressure clean the walls and floor on a Saturday afternoon as the store was closing. Using a 15% solution of BIO-SYSTEMS HSDG, it took roughly 45 minutes to clean the 6.25 x 4.5m room.

The science behind the scenes: fish 'blood-oil' drips from the wet fish, kept in open topped plastic trays, onto the floor where it soaks into the semi-porous grouting between the impervious glazed tiles. Here it builds up over time and commences to rot, generating sulphide gasses that are then wafted out into the retail hall each time a member of staff enters or leaves via the split plastic curtain door. Leaving the cold room chilled, the odour mixes with the warm ambient air in the retail area and rises up to assail the nostrils of the trolley-pushing public.

CH: odour - HSDG on floor  Floor being defatted using HSDG
BIO-SYSTEMS now attends to this cold room cleaning chore every 9-12 months (charging R746.75 for our last visit which was in April '08). Importantly, since three or four days after our initial application - over seven years ago! - the nasty odour has never recurred.

Few people realize that floors are the generators for most 'in-store' odours, especially in restaurant kitchens, but fish cold rooms are so easy to keep clean with the correct material. Our BIO-SYSTEMS HSDG is just the ticket!

Case history: treating odour 3

Hotels also suffer from odour; typically accumulated body/drain odour. Many hotels these days are either centrally heated or air-conditioned, with few allowing fresh air to circulate from opened windows. In hot climates, especially, the problem becomes really noticeable due to the frequent use by guests of sun-tanning and sun-blocking creams and preparations. People in such climes frequently shower at least twice a day, so these residues build up in the drains and become rancid causing the formation of sulphide gasses.

The same principal as the one described in case history 2 (above) applies. The gasses accumulate in the rooms, which are typically poorly ventilated spaces (ever tried to slam a small hotel room door when all the windows are closed?) and are sucked out into the corridor when guests go down to breakfast in the mornings. Here, in the passageways, passing guests waft the gasses as they move towards the lift lobby where the rising and falling cars piston them down the shaft to reception, causing an off-putting nuisance.

The solution to this problem is very simple - and ridiculously cheap! Just 15-20ml of BIO-SYSTEMS L2120 or BIO-SYSTEMS DF60 into each shower, hand basin and bath waste every six months or so and bothersome odour troubles are over. That's around 80ml (max) per room, which costs about R7.50 (50p/$1/0.6€) per room application. The job can be done by the chamber staff on a routine basis, as it only takes seconds, when they leave after making the beds. It certainly saves on 'air-freshening' equipment!

Related content

see also:

Effluent streams sorted
The best way to dispose of both liquid and solid wastes - Home of Bika Lab Systems -  Plone hosting, content management systems and open source LIMS