Odour management

Veolia Water Technologies has invested in research and development activities for many years to develop odour-free treatment plants. Plants that both suit operating personnel and keep local residents happy.


Veolia Water Technologies is committed to reducing odour pollution

Veolia Water Technologies employs 9,000 people to develop state-of-the-art technologies for the future of sustainable development. We have experience at all levels of water cycle management.

We advise and drive technological evolutions in the sustainable development efforts of our customers, who include both industrial clients and public authorities.

Committed to water treatment for more than a century, Veolia Water Technologies has acquired a solid knowledge base concerning the issues arising from odour pollution. This can come from stagnant effluents, contained in basins or lagoons before being rejected or treated.

We have preventative solutions that can help minimise nuisance:

  • pond covers to minimise nuisance for local residents;
  • knowhow in biochemistry and sustainable development for a comprehensive solution to the problem.

Odour nuisance: what are the main causes?

We’re all familiar with bad smells around industrial complexes. Smells similar to "rotten eggs" or "cabbage" are among the most common complaints of local residents. 

The main sources of bad odours?

  • sludge storage;
  • dehydration.

They are caused by the decomposition of chemical elements that are found in the recycling of industrial effluents.

It was not until the 2000s that site operators causing odour pollution began to really consider the disruption they were causing in the absence of adequate effluent treatments.

While the commercialisation of anti-odour processes for the industry has been slow to emerge, prefectural decrees now define the tolerated levels of odours emitted by industry. Maximum levels can also be set during requests for tenders.

The nuisance caused by bad odours has not always been given the attention it deserves. We now know that it varies according to several factors, such as:

  • frequency;
  • duration of exposure to bad odours;
  • weather conditions;
  • time of year;
  • geographical environment;
  • individual reactions to the smells themselves.

Although water purification, pumping and sludge treatment plants play a role in protecting the environment, they too become sources of nuisance if not treated properly. The nuisances may be:

  • visual;
  • noise-related;
  • odour-related, particularly in urban areas.

This is why Veolia Water Technologies is extremely attentive to technology performance in this area, as it helps improve the quality of life for all. We help industries and municipalities deal with odours emitted during wastewater treatment.

Veolia treats bad smells for the municipality of Montpellier


Veolia Water Technologies is committed to local communities. The municipality of Montpellier chose Veolia to eliminate the smell of the Maera wastewater treatment plant, while guaranteeing the lowest price and best service for the region’s population.

What are the treatment solutions of Veolia Water Technologies?

The deodorisation used by Veolia Water Technologies is based on several technologies developed by our partners and subsidiaries.

  • OdoWatch® (a solution from our partner Odotech): operation is based on close meshing of "electronic noses" which permanently capture all data relating to odour emissions. This information is cross-referenced with other external parameters, such as weather data. The result is a live view of the odour plume on the geographic map.
    The electronic device quickly identifies odours in the region, distinguishing odours emitted by the site from external odours. Odowatch® operates 24/7, providing increased levels of monitoring that enable teams to react immediately whenever an anomaly or exceedance of the defined standards is detected.
  • Aquilair ™ technology: a process based on physicochemical deodorisation, which eliminates odorous gas molecules by converting them to a liquid phase. This technology involves a chemical washing process that is repeated several times inside a series of connected towers. Aquilair™ is a high performance process: it eradicates more than 99% of bad smells.
  • Alizair™: a biological deodorisation process that reduces wastewater treatment process odours. The process is based on the biological oxidation of odourant molecules in liquid form. Biodegradation can treat gaseous effluents, even when they are at a very high flow rate. Alizair™ achieves extremely high filtration speeds (500 m/h) and guarantees purification loads exceeding 50 g/h/m3 of material.


Whether for industrial or urban water treatment plants, Veolia Water Technologies offers the best quality of services to customers. We rid wastewater of all its problematic odours, helping to improve the quality of life for facility employees and local residents alike.