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A model of alternative ways to meet dissolved oxygen standards

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Existing in-stream dissolved oxygen (DO) standards in portions the South Platte River below Denver are not being met. In the summer, the river is effluent dominated and in-stream oxidation (nitrification of ammonia) is a significant cause of DO depletion. Facilities were installed to remove ammonia from a portion of treatment plant effluent; while improving water quality, these facilities did not solve the low DO problem. A sophisticated water quality model was used to investigate alternatives to traditional in-plant treatment. Extensive water quality, fisheries, and aquatic habitat data also were assembled, and a site-specific DO standard was proposed that protects aquatic life. Modeling indicated that, even if essentially complete ammonia removal were achieved, the DO problem would not be solved. Various combinations of stream reaeration, channel modifications, effluent diversion, and other techniques were examined with the model, and the six preferred alternatives were subjected to model evaluation for each of 4 summer months to meet both acute and chronic DO criteria. Capital and operation and maintenance costs were estimated, and a subjective risk and benefit evaluation was performed. Modeling and refinement of alternatives finally resulted in a recommended alternative involving installation of both passive and active in-stream reaeration structures that could potentially save $25 to 65 million in capital costs, with substantial savings in annual operating costs as well.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1997-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research� (WER�) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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