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Underflow baffles have gained in popularity over the years as a viable mean to intercept floatables in Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). This choice was mainly justified by the extremely low application cost of the solution although the efficiency of underflow baffles has never been clearly proven. The only similar application to underflow baffles are scum boards in grit chambers and clarifier. However, the flow conditions at CSO's vary considerably from those in grit chambers and clarifier. For this reason, review of the behavior of floatables in a rapid flow is paramount. Only then can comprehensive design criteria for underflow baffles and overflow chambers be suggested. Pilot scale tests, performed in a 17 meters long basin at various flowrates, had already shown that a critical horizontal velocity for floatables (Vcr) may develop in the overflow chambers. In this follow up study, the fate of intercepted floatable was investigated. It appears from this latest data that permanent capture of floatables decreases rapidly with an increase in the horizontal velocity of the flow, no matter what the baffle depth. Baffle depth increases capture at lower velocities (0.17 m/s) but become irrelevant at higher velocities (0.61 m/s). This data suggests that capture efficiency of existing underflow baffles in overflow chambers can be, at best, very low whenever the horizontal velocity increases above 0.30 m/s or 1ft/s.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2000

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