Odor Control Project

Wastewater clarifier which will be covered

Wastewater clarifier which will be covered (taken Nov 2015)

Check out our Progress!

Odors at Moores Creek

Handling wastewater comes with the unfortunate, but understandable reality of strong odors. Controlling those odors is no small task. We handle all the wastewater needs of our community, which means we treat10 million gallons of wastewater per day, on average, with excellent results. The challenge: completing this complex, multi-step water treatment process across our 80-acre facility without releasing odors.  As Charlottesville’s population has grown, the problem has grown.

We strive to be good neighbors and therefore have embarked on an extensive $10 million odor control project at the Moores Creek Advanced Water Resource Recovery Facility approved by the RWSA Board of Directors early in 2015 to address this issue.

We are upgrading and constructing state-of-the-art facilities throughout 2018 and in the end we hope to eliminate the most egregious odors, keeping them within the facility boundaries.

Overview of this project

  • A scientific study, that included liquid and vapor phase odor sampling and technically advanced computer modeling, has determined the scope of the capital improvements
  • Key facilities that contribute to odors will be either covered or removed
  • State-of-the-art grit facilities will be constructed
  • The most egregious odors will be captured through a network of air piping throughout the facility
  • Odor control units to receive the piped foul-smelling air will be constructed
  • Odors will be treated using technologically-advanced biological “scrubbers”, as well as our existing chemical “scrubbers” which “vacuums” the airspace, treats and neutralizes the odor compounds.

Check out this aerial map with legend entitled “Looking Ahead” for a closer look


•Accepted construction bids until March 30, 2016
•Recommended award of Odor Control contract to the Board in April 2016
•Issued “Notice to Proceed” (which means they begin ordering equipment, start work, etc) June 27, 2016
•18-20 months to complete once construction begins

Looking Back…

See what steps Rivanna has made over the years to address odors.

Excavation for the New Biological Odor Scrubber

Excavation for the New Biological Odor Scrubber

We want to hear from you if you experience strong odors:

  • For the most timely response and investigation, we highly recommend contacting us by phone (434) 977-2970 while you are experiencing the odor, rather than later.
  • Reach out to us with questions and concerns. We log every complaint and respond with an email, phone or even a personal visit if warranted.
  • We will track your complaint on our odor map (which gives data to our engineers working on the project).
  • Fill out our online complaint form or email us at mailto:odor@rivanna.org.