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Open Access A Comparison of Methods and a Simple Empirical Solution to Quantifying Base Infiltration in Sewers

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This paper addresses three empirical prediction methods used to estimate the magnitude of Base Infiltration (BI) in 45 isolated sewer basins throughout the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) collection system: night-time "Wastewater Production", "Minimum Flow Factor", and a third empirical method employing the "Stevens-Schutzbach" equation. These empirical methods were tested against a chemical parameter verification method that involves regressing hourly concentrations of several common wastewater chemical analysis parameters (Chemical Oxygen Demand – COD, etc.) with hourly sewage flow rates. The chemical parameter method results were also compared to BI estimates based on potable water use records. In addition the Wastewater Production and Stevens-Schutzbach methods were evaluated by comparing the BI predictions to the sewer flows during the Northeast Power Blackout of 2003. Results indicate that the Stevens-Schutzbach equation provides a more accurate estimate of BI in basins yielding flows comprised of more than 20% BI.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2007

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