Case Study

LA Union Station Tackles Foul Restroom Odors

Odor Challenge

Officially opened in 1939, the Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) is the main railway station in Los Angeles, Calif., and is the largest railway passenger terminal in the western U.S. Today, the station is a major transportation hub for Southern California, serving almost 110,000 passengers a day, and is widely regarded as “the last of the great train stations.”

In addition to serving as a major transportation hub, LAUS has been the backdrop of many famous Hollywood films throughout the years, and the station’s signature Mission Moderne style makes it one of the city’s true architectural gems. LAUS also offers unique dining experiences, and is transforming itself into a cultural center by hosting a rotating collection of cutting edge performances, music, and art exhibitions. It also provides a venue for corporate events, weddings and much more. As a result of these travel and entertainment options, LAUS sees more than 1 million visitors per day.

As a widely utilized facility serving a special variety of needs, LAUS is continually looking for ways to make travel and cultural experiences outstanding for everyone who enters. However, for nearly 8 years ABM, a global leader in outsourced facility management services, had to contend with foul odors coming from the men’s restroom in the main terminal – with extremely unpleasant odors continually wafting out into the waiting area, a shoe shine stand, and restaurants.

While the facility management team tested a number of different solutions, such as urinal screens, various masking agents, timed fragrance misters, as well as passive release solutions through osmosis cartridges, nothing effectively rid the area of the foul odors.

“The men’s room was an odor eye-sore for us, and people would smell the stench approximately 30 feet away from the entrance,” Jesse Falconi, Assistant Chief Engineer, LAUS. “As such, we needed a robust solution that was easy to use – and surpassed anything that we had previously tried throughout the years.”


Through working with WAXIE Sanitary Supply, ABM learned about how a custom-built solution from Fresh Wave IAQ could be the ideal solution for tackling this monumental odor challenge.

As such, the team of WAXIE, ABM, Fresh Wave IAQ and the Assistant Chief Engineer at LAUS worked together to effectively install a Fresh Wave IAQ 130CFM Vapor Phase Unit on the floor right above the men’s room. From there, 4-inch PVC piping was extended from the unit and through a hole that dispersed the “dry” Fresh Wave IAQ Air & Surface odor eliminator solution directly into the men’s room.

The Fresh Wave IAQ Air & Surface Liquid is a proprietary blend of environmentally friendly ingredients, including water, lime, pine needles, aniseed, clove, and cedarwood. This blend is effective at eliminating tough odors such as smoke, mildew, chemical fumes, vomit, feces, urine, and food. In addition, as this is a safe, eco-friendly solution, there is no need to evacuate the area being treated while the unit is in use.


Today, the unit is running for the 20 hours a day, which coincides with the station’s operating hours. It also has a timer for when the unit runs low on the Fresh Wave IAQ Air & Surface Liquid – allowing for continual, round-the-clock odor control. As a result, the foul odors have been completely mitigated.

“Now, the most affected areas are odor free and the property management team no longer receives odor complaints,” Abraham Boche, Project Manager – Union Station at ABM. “Having an eco-friendly solution was critical, as we did not want our engineers and other staff to be breathing in harsh chemicals when they are servicing the restroom. In addition, the shoe shiner located outside of the restroom stated that the foul odors have disappeared and he no longer receives customer complaints about the bad smells.”

Due to expanded demand from travelers and visitors, LAUS is in the process of developing a second restroom area, and these new eco-friendly cleaning efforts will help to support this growth.

As LAUS continues its storied history of being one of the greatest train stations in the U.S., the facility will always be on the cutting edge of providing a safe and odor-free environment for everyone that enters this special architectural gem that helps to define the city of Los Angeles.

Odors Controlled

  • Restroom / body fluids

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