The headworks structure located at the Seven Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant was constructed in 2005. It was developed as part of a multi-phase facility expansion project to meet the demands of the growing community it served. Over time, concerns were raised as to the malodorous quality of the air associated with the treatment of waste material at this plant. Although many odors are contained within the proximity of the plant, some odors naturally drift to surrounding areas. In response to these concerns, and odor control project was developed and implemented in 2010 at the Seven Springs facility. The odor control program implemented included the sealing off open chambers that were contributing most of the putrid air, one of these chambers being the headworks structure. The headworks structure receives the initial flow of wastewater from the surrounding community. As it is untreated at this stage, it will have higher concentrations of foul-smelling odors. A natural by-product of the decomposition process is hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas, which gives off a strong smell, and because it does not readily dissolve in wastewater, it is released into the atmosphere. Hydrogen sulfide can erode concrete and over extended periods of time, this erosion can cause severe structural damage. While the odor control program was a success, the unintended consequence was hydrogen sulfide damage to the headworks structure as the channels did not get complete air change-outs which allowed the hydrogen sulfide to buildup and eat at the walls of the structure.
In August of 2020, the structure was bypassed, so the extent of the damage could be evaluated and plans for rehabilitation could be developed. While the damage was considerable, the products available at the time allowed for full restoration of the floors and walls by means of sandblasting, then coating with a “Polyshield” lining system. The work was completed, and the structure placed back in service within 8 days.