Thursday, October 29, 2015

Update On DEP Investigation Into Scranton Sewer Malodor Event

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday said it has identified the chemicals within the malodorous substance discovered in the Scranton sewer system in the vicinity of the Greenridge section of the city on the night of September 24. DEP is continuing to investigate the source of the substance.
After analysis, DEP has determined that the malodorous substance is a chemical mixture of a petroleum product, similar to diesel fuel or home heating oil and a number of other chemicals, such as, terpenes and methylated cyclosiloxanes, which are not typically associated with petroleum products.
Terpenes are a class of organic compounds often found in citrus-based cleaning products and aromatherapy oils.  Methylated cyclosiloxanes may be used in the production of silicone rubbers, as an alternative dry-cleaning solvent, and/or as an ingredient in cosmetic applications like skin creams and deodorants.
Five samples of the substance found in the sewer system and another sample of the substance floating on the surface of the Scranton Sewer Authority treatment plant have been collected and analyzed by DEP’s Bureau of Laboratories in Harrisburg.
In addition, four samples of raw and treated leachate from Keystone Landfill were collected and analyzed as part of DEP’s investigation.  
Based on the analysis, a number of the chemicals identified are known to have strong odors.  However, DEP has not been able to determine which specific chemical or combination of chemicals caused the malodor.
DEP has also determined, through the lab analysis, that the materials present in the samples of the malodorous substance are not the same as materials present in the leachate samples.
The Scranton Sewer Authority has determined that the substance has not compromised the operations of the sewage treatment plant or the sewer line.
DEP will continue to work closely with the Scranton Sewer Authority and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to determine how the substance was introduced into the sewer line.
Keystone Landfill Leachate Not Likely Source Of Stench

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