Community Updates
Updates by Month

Community Update for June 8, 2012

Summer season and odor mitigation activities
As we enter the warm summer season, odors are typically more prevalent for a variety of reasons. In the winter, heavy rains help flush the collection (sewer) system. Dry, warm weather can increase odors from the collection system due in part to this lack of flushing and the buildup of organic materials in the sewer lines. Especially during late summer into mid-fall, there tend to be periods of light or no winds; the lack of air mixing can increase localized impacts from the treatment plant.
In order to try to mitigate all potential odors, we are taking the following actions:
  • Applying chemical addition/treatment including chlorine, ferric chloride and polymer if necessary
  • Maintaining regular housekeeping
  • Evaluating the need to re-locate grit and rag bins and Vactor (sewer cleaning trucks) dump stations at the plant, to minimize potential off-site odor impacts
  • Applying odor masking spray mist
  • Keeping chlorinated water in off-line tanks as necessary to reduce potential odor impacts
  • Evaluating and recommending odor reduction/management facility upgrades
New comprehensive odor study
We are working in cooperation with Webster Environmental Associates on a comprehensive odor study, which will look at identifying the root cause of odors in the wastewater treatment and the Point Richmond collection system, in particular. Webster Environmental performed the original odor study of the Richmond wastewater treatment plant in 2007. The study was kicked off on May 6 and will run through the summer with the summary report targeted for completion by the end of September. A report will be provided to the City with recommendations on areas of improvement and rehabilitation. The study will also drive our efforts for enhanced odor evaluation, response and mitigation.

Hours of operation and odor response
To report unusually strong odors, call (510) 412-2001. Our daily plant operating hours are:

Daily operating hours
Mon. - Fri. 6 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sat. - Sun. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The odor report line is staffed 24 hours a day/7 days a week. If we receive a call after plant operating hours, plant personnel are dispatched to respond within one hour. Written response reports are provided to the resident. If a plant fence line alert is activated, a member of Veolia's field team is immediately notified and dispatched to respond within one hour to investigate. Veolia Water details odor report line calls and alerts to the City in a bi-weekly odor summary report and provides tabulated data in its monthly operating report to the City.

We continue to work with the City to ensure comprehensive coverage of plant operations, including extending plant personnel coverage when there is the operational necessity.

Veolia's Richmond management team regularly attends the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council meetings (the last Wednesday of each month) and is available for plant tours and to answer questions from our neighbors.