Hydraulic assessment of waste stabilization ponds: Comparison of computational fluid dynamics simulations against tracer data

Hydraulic assessment of waste stabilization ponds: Comparison of computational fluid dynamics simulations against tracer data


  • Journal title: MASKANA
  • ISSN: 1390-6143 (print) 2477-8893 (online)
  • Publisher: Universidad de Cuenca
  • Country of publisher: ecuador
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2019/May/15

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: Engineering, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science
  • Publisher's keywords: Waste Stabilization Pond (WSP), tracer study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Language of fulltext: spanish, castilian, english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF


    Andrés Alvarado, Sreepriya Vedantam, Galo Durazno, Ingmar Nopens



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The overall performance of a wastewater treatment plant is in addition to the effectiveness of the biokinetic processes controlled by the flow dynamics. A wide used technique to characterize the water flow dynamics is the use of tracers. At full-scale tracer experiments in wastewater treatment plants provide insufficient information to completely grasp the flow dynamics. Additionally results are often biased by uncontrolled external factors. As alternative, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models for performance analysis of existing and the design of new wastewater treatment plants have been increasingly used over the last decade. The paper presents the results of a tracer experiment against the output of a CFD model with application to a 7 ha large maturation pond. The tracer study was conducted with the fluorescence dye Rhodamine WT using the stimulus response technique. The three dimensional CFD model was built considering a variable density distribution of spatial grids based on the specific characteristics of the system. For the unsteady flow simulations the turbulence model k- was adopted. Residence time distribution (RTD) generated by both approaches were compared and showed fairly good agreement. The velocity and turbulence profiles of the CFD model were compared with experimental data confirming, although the high computational demand, the robustness of the used CFD model.

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