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Slaughterhouse Remains Stop Project Cold Until Odor Cleared Up


Imagine taking on a soil analysis project only to be stopped dead in your tracks by the smell of death. That’s exactly what happened to an environmental project manager for a large project in Sumner Washington.


The supervisor worked for a geotechnical and environmental engineering firm specializing in solving problems for road, building and land construction projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. But this problem was unlike any other they’d encountered before.


The team of engineers was asked to do soil analysis for a large warehouse and office construction project in Sumner, Washington. That project came to a screeching halt when they uncovered the remains of an old animal farm and slaughterhouse. The smells of decaying animal carcasses were beyond offensive. Contractors came to name the material "goat goo." The exposed smelly gunk was covered over and worked stopped…for months.


Holding up a job like this is extremely expensive. However, the driving concern was the risk of exposing the neighborhood and employees to the odors. The odor level generated was strong enough that site personnel were nauseous, according to the site supervisor.


They first tried to find somewhere to haul to goat goo, but landfills were reluctant to accept the material. Then local regulatory agencies held up the project for weeks as they required analysis of the stinky mess and its impact on neighbors and site personnel to determine the risk level. 


More Than a Stink

Why were the odors so offensive? The decaying animal carcasses were emitting cadaverine and putrescine (anaerobically generated amines that cause the smell of death), as well as hydrogen sulfide (commonly referred to as rotten egg smell). Hydrogen sulfide is extremely toxic and cadaverine is toxic in large doses.


Beyond getting rid of the nauseating smell so workers could be onsite, the team needed a way to protect people--especially the working contractors and community--from both the odor and the toxic impact of these compounds.


A local landfill referred suggested NanoZyme Technologies because that company specializes in industrial-scale solutions for combating odors. The company’s NanoZyme CLEAN is highly effective against sulfides and amines, the odor chemicals associated with these toxic odors. It could be fogged to cover a large air space such as the goat goo pit, and it could be sprayed, if needed, right onto the offending material. It was also food grade safe so it could be used around people with no need for personal protective equipment.


NanoZyme CLEAN is made from biocatalytic enzymes that interact with pollutants, bind with them, then break them apart. Once the chemical reaction occurs, these biocatalytic agents are released to continue to interact with any remaining pollutant.


Clearing the Air on an Industrial Scale

To combat the odors at the jobsite, the team fogged the area with the NanoZyme CLEAN product while large earth-moving shovels and bulldozers removed the smelly material to dump trucks and then to an approved hazardous-waste dumpsite. As soon as digging started, the surrounding air was thick and foul with the odors of decay. The Earth Solutions team was ready. They began fogging NanoZyme CLEAN into the surrounding air using the gas-powered backpack foggers provided by NanoZyme Technologies. Within seconds, the offensive odors disappeared. “Our plan worked,” said the supervisor, “and the ability to fog was just what was needed to apply NanoZyme CLEAN on such a large and open area.”


The supervisor also sprayed NanoZyme CLEAN directly onto the fiber facemasks worn by workers to keep the odors from penetrating the masks and sickening the crew. He also gave small spray bottles of NanoZyme CLEAN to the crew for their personal use. No one wants to walk into a restaurant smelling of rotting flesh when it’s time for a lunch break!


With the decomposed animal remains safely removed and shipped to a hazardous waste landfill, all employees kept safe and sound, and the elimination of the nauseating odors, all that could be sniffed was the sweet smell of success as the job was able to move forward.


To learn more, contact Nanozyme Technologies at for more information on their geotechnical and environmental services.

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