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A seasonal guide to managing #odour, from Silsoe Odours


A schedule for managing odour emissions is a simple but valuable tool. A comprehensive list of ‘to-do’ items for each season can help you minimise malodours in the best possible manner. Specifically, you will be able to:

  • avoid or resolve odour issues before they become significant problems
  • meet your planning and regulatory obligations
  • save both time and money
  • minimise odour complaints

Use this seasonal guide to help schedule your odour checks. Ideally, build it into your odour management plan and best practice policy. Revisit your list monthly and at the beginning of each season. Following these steps can help you effectively control your site’s odour emissions. Remember, though, that every site is different. So make sure your plan is suitable for your needs.

Once you develop your checklist, you may require support with seasonal odour monitoring, testing and sampling tasks. In this case, Silsoe Odours can work closely with your team to make sure you achieve your goals.


A wintry snow day at the Silsoe Odours laboratory

A wintry snow day at the Silsoe Odours laboratory

Cold weather makes conducting on-site odour sampling and surveys difficult (although not impossible). Not only is it cold and uncomfortable for the assessor, but inclement weather can also impact the quality of the results. What’s more, bacteria that cause odour grow and travel more slowly in cold weather. All in all, things are less smelly in the winter.

However, this does not mean you should abandon your odour management activity during these months. Take the chance to review your odour control equipment and systems and ensure good housekeeping is in place. Pay close attention to areas of your site where odours may occur. Check that your material containment systems are up to scratch, and plan to upgrade them if not. Look at how you can minimise and resolve spillages quickly and effectively. Make sure your materials do not build up when they are no longer needed, and have a system in place to dispose of them. You can also review your buildings and organise any upgrades needed to minimise fugitive emissions.

In addition, take extra care of your odour control systems. Firstly, test that they are working correctly by conducting odour sampling from your point sources. Secondly, check you have a suitable year-round maintenance plan in place. If you are considering upgrading odour abatement equipment, you may also benefit from odour dispersion modelling.


If you spent your winter thinking about managing odour effectively, then you are in great shape. You should know precisely what changes you need to make to ensure your site is in tip-top order ahead of summer’s “smelly season”. Use the spring months to install new odour abatement and containment equipment, and complete any remedial work that is necessary.

Managing odour is a crucial requirement for achieving planning permission for new and updated developments.

Managing odour is a crucial requirement for achieving planning permission for new and updated developments.

Now is also the time to schedule your summer odour work. Thinking ahead in this way can be particularly important for planners and developers. If you intend to seek planning permission, you will need to provide an odour assessment with your application. For sites near existing operators which produce malodours, you need to think carefully about the timing. Odour assessments should take place between May and September. Results from these months will give a genuine picture of the ‘worst-case’ impact of odour emissions at your site. Your planning permission may be rejected if your data is collected outside these core months. In turn, this could delay your application until the following summer.