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Vertical versus horizontal modelling in algal modelling for waste stabilisation ponds.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Charlotte Paterson, Professor Thomas CurtisORCiD


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Waste stabilisation pond modelling is often simplified by assuming either complete mixing, or uniform conditions in one dimension, invariably the vertical. In terms of the treatment mechanisms associated with algae in facultative and maturation ponds, the depth dimension deserves more attention. The comparative validity of making vertical and lateral homogeneity assumptions was assessed, by taking a series of pond samples from full scale ponds at Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant, Adelaide. Vertical profiled samples were taken and in-situ monitoring carried out at several points across the pond plan. Despite the huge plan area of the ponds compared to the small depth, the magnitudes of variation in key parameters across horizontal and vertical planes were comparable. While the distribution of the parameters through the depth exhibited evidence of systematic trends, the data across the horizontal plane did not. The vertical dimension has mechanistic implications for both algal activity and the resultant treatment conditions. This supports the case for including vertical distribution specifically in algal modelling and generally in pond modelling.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weatherell CA, Curtis TP, Fallowfield HJ

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Waste Stabilisation Ponds: Technology and the Environment - Selected Proceedings of the 4th International Specialised Conference

Year of Conference: 2000

Pages: 19

ISSN: 9781900222372

Publisher: IWA Publishing

Series Title: Water Science & Technology