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WWTmod 2010 Keynote Presentation

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The modern age of wastewater treatment modelling began with publication of the International Water Association (IWA) Activated Sludge Model (ASM) No.1 and has advanced significantly since. Models are schematic representations of systems that are useful for analysis to support decision-making. The simplest model supporting the required decisions is the most appropriate. Characteristics of effective models are presented, along with how wastewater modelling is integrated into the wastewater project life cycle. The desirable characteristics of wastewater treatment modelling platforms are then reviewed. Current developments of note in wastewater treatment modelling practice include estimates of greenhouse gas emissions, incorporating uncertainty into wastewater modelling and design practice, more fundamental modelling of process chemistry, and improved understanding of the degradability of wastewater consituents in different environments. Areas requiring greater emphasis include increased use of metabolic modelling, characterization of the hydrodynamics of suspended and biofilm biological treatment processes, and the integration of biofilm and suspended growth process modelling. Wastewater treatment models must also interface with water and wastewater management software packages. While wastewater treatment modelling will continue to advance and make important contributions to practice, it must be remembered that these are complex systems which exhibit counter-intuitive behaviour and multiple dynamic steady-states which can abruptly transition from one to another.
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Keywords: CFD; Modelling; biofilms; complexity; greenhouse gases; modelling platforms; uncertainty; wastewater project life cycle

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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