Longitudinal dispersion in a horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetland: a numerical solution

Adérito Araújo, Ercília Sousa, António Albuquerque


We present a numerical solution for the dead zone model which describes the solute transport in a subsurface and horizontal flow constructed wetland. This model is a system of two mass balance equations for two conceptual areas: the main channel and the storage zone. We use finite difference schemes to determine the numerical solution of the system and we study its convergence by presenting properties related to the stability and accuracy of the schemes. Concerning the experimental results, the magnitude of the longitudinal dispersion and the extension of dead volumes is estimated for clean conditions and after a certain operating period under organic loading conditions. The results showed a considerable amount of longitudinal dispersion through the bed, which was very strong near the feeding point, indicating the occurrence of mixing and significant presence of dead zones and short-circuiting. This approach is expected to be useful to determine operating conditions, such as, the control of the incoming organic loading, and also to avoid the increase of dead zones as a means to improve treatment performance.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21914/anziamj.v50i0.1367

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