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Characterization of Natural Ventilation in Wastewater Collection Systems

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The purpose of the study was to characterize natural ventilation in full-scale gravity collection system components while measuring other parameters related to ventilation. Experiments were completed at four different locations in the wastewater collection systems of Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, Los Angeles, California, and the King County Wastewater Treatment District, Seattle, Washington. The subject components were concrete gravity pipes ranging in diameter from 0.8 to 2.4 m (33 to 96 in.). Air velocity was measured in each pipe using a carbon-monoxide pulse tracer method. Air velocity was measured entering or exiting the components at vents using a standpipe and hotwire anemometer arrangement. Ambient wind speed, temperature, and relative humidity; headspace temperature and relative humidity; and wastewater flow and temperature were measured. The field experiments resulted in a large database of measured ventilation and related parameters characterizing ventilation in full-scale gravity sewers. Measured ventilation rates ranged from 23 to 840 L/s. The experimental data was used to evaluate existing ventilation models. Three models that were based upon empirical extrapolation, computational fluid dynamics, and thermodynamics, respectively, were evaluated based on predictive accuracy compared to the measured data. Strengths and weaknesses in each model were found and these observations were used to propose a concept for an improved ventilation model.
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Keywords: collection system; corrosion; odor; sewer gas; tracer gas; ventilation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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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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