What's that smell? Pipe replacement expected to stink up part of Pleasanton

DSRSD says work will take about a month, sends apologies for bad odor

Pleasanton may not smell so pleasant over the next month while crews work to replace a worn-out 405-foot-long foul air pipe at the Dublin San Ramon Services District's Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility.

“While under construction for about a month, we won’t be able to scrub the foul air coming from the bar screens and grit tanks, so we apologize in advance to our neighbors,” said project engineer Rudy Portugal in a statement. “However, once construction is completed, we will be able to reduce future odors from our bar screens and grit tanks.”

The 18-year-old, 42-inch-diameter corrugated plastic pipe, which runs from the site and along Interstate 680, “has deteriorated beyond repair” and will be replaced with a new fiberglass-reinforced pipe that will push foul air towards three narrower 24-inch-diameter pipes, according to DSRSD officials.

From there, the air is forced through 2,350 feet of 10-inch-diameter perforated pipes that distributes the air through five feet of “special dirt” called biofilter beds. Workers will also repair cracks in the holding basin and road under which the pipe runs.

Once wastewater arrives at the plant, steel bar screens with quarter-inch gaps filter non-organic debris like wood and metal, then grit tanks help remove gravel from the process. During both stages, the foul air travels through the pipe and is pushed through the biofilter beds, removing odor from the air.

Construction began last week and should last about six weeks. The project’s total cost is estimated at $2.2 million.

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