Hamilton Kent Blog

Project Profile: Odor be gone! Lifespan helps Blair, NE solve their odor issues.

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Location: Blair, NE

Problem: Ongoing odor in residential neighborhoods

Solution: The Lifespan System

Date: March 2013

The City of Blair, NE, was faced with tough decisions when residents demanded an end to the constant odor issues that had plagued several residential neighborhoods. Several years ago, Blair installed a new sewer trunk line in anticipation of a building boom that unfortunately never happened. Consequently the sewage flow through this line is much less than expected and travels much slower than a fully active trunk line. As such the odor is much greater than normal.

In their search for and consideration of several solutions, City administrators came across Hamilton Kent’s Lifespan System® as an economical alternative to the costly mechanical and chemical fixes used to combat odor.

Consisting of a gasketed rubber manhole frame and a lock-down cover, Lifespan acts as a barrier to anything getting in or out of the wastewater system. This includes odor from untreated wastewater, which is routed through residential neighbourhoods on its way to the wastewater treatment plant.

Allen Schoemaker, Blair’s Director of Public Works, noted that product experts at Hamilton Kent helped to determine the suitability of Lifespan to solve their problems and saw the opportunities in using Lifespan to combat odor. So the City decided to give it a try.

After purchasing twelve 24” Lifespan manhole units, the municipal staff installed the lightweight frames and covers themselves. Hamilton Kent experts stayed onsite to support and train staff, which Schoemaker says simplified the installations. “The install was easily learned by our staff.  In fact, after training, we were able to install all the manhole systems within three days.”

The results were immediate. Schoemaker and his staff noticed the difference when driving through the affected area. Prior to the install, the odor would be noticeable within the cab of their trucks, and now even with the windows down there is no scent of the wastewater system.

As for those calls and complaints from residents? They have stopped. The City of Blair is looking forward to the expansion and continued development of this now more desirable neighbourhood. There are even plans in the works to use Lifespan in other areas within Blair to combat similar less severe odor issues.

When we followed-up with Allen Schoemaker, six months later, to share his thoughts he said, “this product has the potential to help a lot of cities, especially when you have sewers going through residential and business districts. Many times, you get a phone call from a resident saying that there is odor. It’s nice to be able to slap a manhole cover on that, and that phone call just never happens again—because the odor stays within the sewer system.”

Has your community been affected by odor issues? Talk to our product experts to learn how Lifespan can help you solve them.