Field Odour Surveys

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FIELD ODOUR SURVEYS

WHAT ARE FIELD ODOUR SURVEYS?

Being known for your bad smell rather than the quality of your products, or the integrity of your processes, is bad news for any business. Local complaints about odorous emissions need to be taken seriously but this can be a difficult task as they tend to be subjective, and anecdotal. When businesses are encountering this kind of reputational problem Silsoe Odours Ltd can help by providing scientific data which objectifies and quantifies the impact of the odour emissions on the local environment.

The Field Odour Survey utilises a panel of qualified odour assessors, in line with BS EN16842-2 guidelines to determine the effects of odour dispersal over a determined period in a range of meteorological conditions.

HOW DO THE FIELD ODOUR SURVEYS ASSESS ODOUR IMPACT?

Using a series of observation points located downwind of the suspected source of the odour, detailed records are kept in order to track its intensity and frequency. The term ‘plume’ describes the trajectory of the odour and the dispersal pattern created as it meets atmospheric turbulence. Data is recorded at regular intervals, noting meteorological divergences. The human assessors use the ‘sniff test’ to determine the absence or presence of the odour and its journey is plotted by noting where the smell is at its most intense, and at what point it disappears.

The composition of the panel for any given Field Odour Survey will remain constant throughout the testing process and the number of assessors will be determined by the manner of assessment:

  • Plume Method – a minimum of five assessors.
  • Dynamic Plume Method – a minimum of two assessors.

The simplified diagram in Fig. 1 illustrates the idealised progression of the assessors. The wind indicated by the arrow 1, the odour source is at 2. Black spots indicate where an odour is detected and circles where no odour is detected. The plume extent is drawn between odour present and no odour points. Panel members will make an assessment every 10 seconds.

WHY USE HUMAN ASSESSORS, AND HOW ARE THEY CHOSEN?

Field Odour Surveys are designed to respond to subjective experiences of odour dispersal; it is necessary, therefore, to use the human element. BS EN16842-2 requires that panel members are  are selected according to the requirements of BS EN13725:2003, 6.7.2. and they are subject to checks at least every six months.

At Silsoe Odours Ltd, our panel members are selected according to the requirements of EN13725:2003, 6.7.2. and they are subject to repeat checks every time they carry out laboratory measurements (usually daily or weekly). Records are kept on each individual assessor, including detailed records of threshold estimates of the reference odorant, n-butanol.

If your business has experienced complaints as a result of odour emissions and you think you would benefit from a Field Odour Survey, call our team today 01525 860 222

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