Ask an Odor Control Expert: Covers Control Foul Odors from Wastewater Treatment

Find out how to capture odorous air—without having to compromise tank access.

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I run our city’s wastewater treatment plant and the neighbors are complaining about odors. We have tried managing these odors, but all the complaints make it seem like we do not care. That is not true. Still, everybody, including the mayor, hears the complaints.

It seems like the best solution is to capture the odorous air under a cover, and then withdraw and treat it so that it never reaches the neighbors. We want to be a good neighbor, but we also have a job to do. Running this plant means we need to regularly inspect the process and maintain our equipment and a cover just gets in the way and makes it harder for us to do our jobs. What can you suggest?


What you are describing is a common problem for municipalities. One of the simplest ways to manage odors at wastewater treatment plants is to literally cover the problem. The best cover to solve odor issues is one that is airtight to capture foul air, but also quick and easy to open. That is the kind of cover Geomembrane Technologies Inc. (GTI) custom-designs and supplies.

Our structurally supported covers consist of a retractable fabric cover tensioned over a series of low profile aluminum arches. The covers are typically used at wastewater treatment plants to capture odorous offgas for removal and treatment. The cover fabric is strong and durable, and can be quickly disconnected and easily retracted to access tank internals for maintenance or inspection. Rainwater automatically drains off the cover. This cover style can also be used to block sunlight, thereby controlling algae growth and chlorine usage/DBP formation.

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This proven, retractable cover design works. Plant operators who have chosen this cover type are happy because the covers allow them to do their job without complicating their workload. The neighbors are happy because the odor problem has gone away. Plant management and city officials are happy because the complaints have been resolved.

About Geomembrane Technologies Inc. (GTI)

GTI has been supplying tank and lagoon covers and containment liners for water and wastewater applications for over thirty years. With over 250+ installations worldwide, GTI is a leading supplier of covers and liners to municipal, industrial, and agricultural customers.

For more information, visit our website or contact Brent Howe, Vice President of Product Management: or 1.506.449.0993.

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