ODOCO-Artnose Evaluation of electronic noses for sewer odour management

Project title

Evaluation of electronic noses for online control of odour emissions from sewer systems

Project initiator

Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH

Project volume

401,946 €

Project start



21 months


A decrease in specific water consumption causes a reduction in sewage flow in wastewater collection systems. Consequences are longer retention times, slow flow rates and the deposition of pollutants which foster microbial activities and the development of anaerobic conditions within the sewer system. Hence, the decline in wastewater production with the wastewater carrying the same pollutant load, sewer systems are more and more prone to odour and corrosion problems. Together with a growing public concern over odours from sewer networks these phenomena have led to the need for sewer operators to increasingly apply odour abatement methods. Different odour abatement technologies are available and widely-used but often response without adequate identification of the odour source and analysis of the odour problem beforehand. This can easily lead to inefficiency, only short-term success of selected measures and elevated costs.

Continuous odour monitoring solutions have been identified as essential tools to support the whole odour control procedure in sewer networks – from identification, argumentation, planning, control and documentation. Electronic noses have recently become available as alternative solution for assessing olfactive annoyance in wastewater systems. They are however limited in current applications and tests under realistic conditions seem justified to assess their possibilities in sewer odour management.

The overall objectives of ODOCO-Artnose are the identification of the current technological status and the evaluation of the abilities of electronic noses to fulfil the needs in current sewer odour management (such as optimising dosing strategies).

Different available electronic nose systems will be subject of a test series within a large-scale sewer research plant of the Berliner Wasserbetriebe. A multi-criteria decision analysis will be elaborated for the evaluation of the performance of the different electronic nose systems. The findings of the investigations, including a state of the art compilation of available odour control technologies and a cost comparison will analyse the applicability of electronic noses in odour management and specify future odour control noses.


Therese Schwarzböck


Pascale Rouault


Financial support: