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The hydrodynamic and capture/retention performance of a gross pollutant trap

Madhani, Jehangir T. (2010) The hydrodynamic and capture/retention performance of a gross pollutant trap. PhD by Publication, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

This research shows that gross pollutant traps (GPTs) continue to play an important role in preventing visible street waste—gross pollutants—from contaminating the environment. The demand for these GPTs calls for stringent quality control and this research provides a foundation to rigorously examine the devices. A novel and comprehensive testing approach to examine a dry sump GPT was developed. The GPT is designed with internal screens to capture gross pollutants—organic matter and anthropogenic litter. This device has not been previously investigated. Apart from the review of GPTs and gross pollutant data, the testing approach includes four additional aspects to this research, which are: field work and an historical overview of street waste/stormwater pollution, calibration of equipment, hydrodynamic studies and gross pollutant capture/retention investigations. This work is the first comprehensive investigation of its kind and provides valuable practical information for the current research and any future work pertaining to the operations of GPTs and management of street waste in the urban environment. Gross pollutant traps—including patented and registered designs developed by industry—have specific internal configurations and hydrodynamic separation characteristics which demand individual testing and performance assessments. Stormwater devices are usually evaluated by environmental protection agencies (EPAs), professional bodies and water research centres. In the USA, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Environmental Water Resource Institute (EWRI) are examples of professional and research organisations actively involved in these evaluation/verification programs. These programs largely rely on field evaluations alone that are limited in scope, mainly for cost and logistical reasons. In Australia, evaluation/verification programs of new devices in the stormwater industry are not well established. The current limitations in the evaluation methodologies of GPTs have been addressed in this research by establishing a new testing approach. This approach uses a combination of physical and theoretical models to examine in detail the hydrodynamic and capture/retention characteristics of the GPT. The physical model consisted of a 50% scale model GPT rig with screen blockages varying from 0 to 100%. This rig was placed in a 20 m flume and various inlet and outflow operating conditions were modelled on observations made during the field monitoring of GPTs. Due to infrequent cleaning, the retaining screens inside the GPTs were often observed to be blocked with organic matter. Blocked screens can radically change the hydrodynamic and gross pollutant capture/retention characteristics of a GPT as shown from this research. This research involved the use of equipment, such as acoustic Doppler velocimeters (ADVs) and dye concentration (Komori) probes, which were deployed for the first time in a dry sump GPT. Hence, it was necessary to rigorously evaluate the capability and performance of these devices, particularly in the case of the custom made Komori probes, about which little was known. The evaluation revealed that the Komori probes have a frequency response of up to 100 Hz —which is dependent upon fluid velocities—and this was adequate to measure the relevant fluctuations of dye introduced into the GPT flow domain. The outcome of this evaluation resulted in establishing methodologies for the hydrodynamic measurements and gross pollutant capture/retention experiments. The hydrodynamic measurements consisted of point-based acoustic Doppler velocimeter (ADV) measurements, flow field particle image velocimetry (PIV) capture, head loss experiments and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation. The gross pollutant capture/retention experiments included the use of anthropogenic litter components, tracer dye and custom modified artificial gross pollutants. Anthropogenic litter was limited to tin cans, bottle caps and plastic bags, while the artificial pollutants consisted of 40 mm spheres with a range of four buoyancies. The hydrodynamic results led to the definition of global and local flow features. The gross pollutant capture/retention results showed that when the internal retaining screens are fully blocked, the capture/retention performance of the GPT rapidly deteriorates. The overall results showed that the GPT will operate efficiently until at least 70% of the screens are blocked, particularly at high flow rates. This important finding indicates that cleaning operations could be more effectively planned when the GPT capture/retention performance deteriorates. At lower flow rates, the capture/retention performance trends were reversed. There is little difference in the poor capture/retention performance between a fully blocked GPT and a partially filled or empty GPT with 100% screen blockages. The results also revealed that the GPT is designed with an efficient high flow bypass system to avoid upstream blockages. The capture/retention performance of the GPT at medium to high inlet flow rates is close to maximum efficiency (100%). With regard to the design appraisal of the GPT, a raised inlet offers a better capture/retention performance, particularly at lower flow rates. Further design appraisals of the GPT are recommended.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 39332
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Publication)
Supervisor: Brown, Richard, Dawes, Leslie, Kelson, Neil, & Young, Joseph
Keywords: Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter, ADV, anthropogenic litter, organic matter, computational fluid dynamics, CFD, D rain, dye, flow visualisations, fluent, gross pollutants, gross pollutant trap, GPT, Komori probe, litter, line integral convolution, LIC, residence time distribution, RTD, stormwater
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 22 Dec 2010 14:12
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 06:00

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