A matematical modeling study on the feasibility of disposing partially treated domestic wastewater using soil pile systems

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2006

Thesis Language: English

Student: Hatice Altınoklar



The soil pile system (SPS) is a wastewater infiltration system used for secondary and tertiary treatment of wastewater. The purpose of this study is to perform a feasibility study to assess the applicability of SPS for treatment and safe disposal of domestic wastewaters, using a simplistic steady-state flow analytical modeling and a numerical transient unsaturated flow and transport modeling approaches. It is also aimed to develop guidelines for the design and operation of field scale SPS using the results of modeling studies. The analytical modeling approach (AMA) was used to assess total coliform and chlorine attenuation efficiency in a SPS with clay loam soil. Analytical modeling results showed that SPS can treat wastewater in terms of total coliform and chlorine. Thus, in the light of findings of analytical modeling study, a pilot scale field study was conducted for the identifying the design and operational characteristics of a field scale system. Numerical modeling approach was used to evaluate the impact on contaminant removal of transient nature of wastewater infiltration and redistribution through clay loam soil pile. The results of numerical and analytical models were compared to assess the effect of flow regime on contaminant removal efficiencies. Results show that there is no significant difference between removal efficiencies achieved by numerical and analytical models. Whereupon, analytical model was used to assess behavior of SPS with different soil types, namely silt loam, loam, and sandy loam soils. Model results indicated that SPS can be effective reducing chlorine and total coliform concentrations of wastewater below discharge standards. Results also indicated that SPS is highly sensitive to soil thickness, infiltration rate, soil bulk density and most importantly decay rate coefficients and the performance of SPS is dependent on the design, construction, operation characteristics and soil-environmental conditions of the system.