Experienced operators see gray/black water with high H2S odors, they confidently say the water is "septic". But what is "septic" water and what upstream biochemical conditions form the odorous, high oxygen demand water.
First septic water usually gets its dark gray color from reduced sulfides (S=) binding with iron to form iron sulfide. The binding into iron sulfide is a good thing and is often used to control H2S gas in collection systems. For quick reading, I'll give the characteristics of "septic water":
Septic Water Characteristics
Biochemistry of Septicity
How to Control Septicity in Collection Systems
Erik Rumbaugh has been involved in biological waste treatment for over 20 years. He has worked with industrial and municipal wastewater facilities to ensure optimal performance of their treatment systems. He is a founder of Aster Bio (www.asterbio.com) specializing in biological waste treatment.
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