This guidance sheet is part of a series of guidance sheets. It should be read with our odour guidance for businesses.

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Containment refers to the site management practice of containing your odour producing processes or stock piles indoors, or under suitable covers outdoors. Containment is one of the simplest forms of odour control, and can be implemented in a variety of effective ways depending on your business or site.

Type of control


When you would use this

Containment should be used whenever possible. This is a broadly applicable control that can benefit a vast array of sites and businesses.

Suitable for: As this control involves the containment of odour producing sources it can be implemented to control almost any odour or potential odour.

Industries that would use this: All industries could benefit from this control, however, sites that receive, manage, or produce highly odorous materials have the most to gain from this control. It is also highly recommended for businesses which conduct potentially odorous activities outside.

Details and considerations

While containment is a broad-spectrum solution it may not be viable for everyone. There are several things to consider when aiming to contain your odour producing process or sources:

  • It should be noted that containment does not treat produced odour, it simply prevents produced odour from spreading and impacting nearby sensitive receptors.
  • Odour producing processes and stockpiles should always be stored indoors wherever possible.
  • When storing odorous materials indoors, odour can be prevented from leaving the building by ensuring doors and building openings are properly sealed, and maintaining negative pressure with correct extraction fans.
  • If processes or stockpiles cannot be stored indoors, the appropriate odour cover should be used to contain the odour. You may consider how often the stockpile will need to be accessed, and what sort of weather protection the stockpile will require. For further information see the odour covers guidance sheet.
  • Ensure the odour cover you select covers the entire surface of the stockpile and is secured appropriately for the material used.
  • In the event a process or stockpile cannot be stored indoors or covered with an appropriate odour cover, ensure appropriate separation distances between the adjoining property and yours so no odour pollution is emitted past your property boundaries. For information on appropriate separation distances see Recommended Separation Distances for Industrial Residual Air Emissions – Guideline (publication 1518).
  • When loading or unloading odorous materials, ensure you follow good site planning and management procedures. Further information can be found in the site planning and management guidance sheet.
  • Maintaining an air-lock system can help prevent odour pollution during loading or unloading of odorous materials.
  • Some processes or stockpiles may produce unsafe by-products in addition to odour, it is important in these instances to ensure you have adequate odour capture mechanisms and treatments before exhausting this air outside of the building.

Read more

Recommended Separation Distances for Industrial Residual Air Emissions – Guideline (publication 1518) provides guidance on buffer requirements for minimum distances between odour producing sources and your site perimeter.

Odour guidance sheets:

Australian Standard AS1668:  The use of ventilation and air-conditioning in buildings 

Australian Standard AS12759 Fans - efficiency classification for fans 

Australian Standard AS4254 Ductwork for air-handling systems in buildings (flexible and rigid) 

Odour guidance for businesses

Odour controls


This page was copied from EPA's old website. It was last updated on 4 June 2019.

Reviewed 12 June 2021