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A study was conducted to determine end-of-pipe concentrations for effluent discharge into the Magdalena River as a part of the wastewater treatment upgrade for agricultural products manufacturing complex. Dispersion studies and computer modeling were done to evaluate mixing characteristics at various flow conditions. A computer-based water quality model, PLUMES version 3.0 using the CORMIX algorithm, was used to determine pollutant concentrations at the edge of a mixing zone defined by the discharge permit. Data for the models were obtained from field sampling and from historical data collected by Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla. The model was verified using measurements made during the dispersion study. The model was then used for evaluating the existing discharge configuration through a 10" diameter pipe and two alternative discharge configurations: jet flow and an educting flow through a 2.5" diameter pipe. All three of these evaluations were simulated at critical (low) flow conditions in the receiving stream. It was concluded that the educting flow configuration gave the best mixing characteristics and consequently the highest end of pipe discharge targets to remain below water quality standards at the edge of the mixing zone. Moreover, dispersion through the educting jet nozzle diffuser is significantly less expensive than treatment options evaluated.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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