Chemical constituents associated with sewage settling velocity profiles

  • F.A. Becker

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A methodology has been developed to measure the chemical constituents associated with the settling velocity fractions that comprise a wastewater settling velocity profile (SVP).
31 wastewater samples were collected from fifteen different catchments in England and Wales. For each catchment, settling velocity and associated chemical constituent profiles were determined. The results are mainly for Suspended Solids (SS), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Phosphorus (P) and Total Kjeadahl Nitrogen (TKN), however these are supplemented by the results from 5 events for a suite of heavy metals.
COD, P, Hg, Mn and Pb were found to be predominantly associated with the solid phase and TKN, Al, Cu and Fe with the liquor phase of the wastewater samples. The results in the thesis are expressed as mass of pollutant (g) per mass total SS (kg). COD and P were found to be mainly associated with the sinkers and had a particular affinity for solids with settling velocities in the range 0.9-9.03mm/sec. TKN was mainly associated with the soluble phase, however of the solids that did settle, a peak was found to be associated within the settling velocity range 0.9-9.03mm/sec.
The relationships identified for COD and P were generally found to be unaffected by flow conditions and catchment characteristics. However, TKN was found to be affected by catchment type.
Data on the distribution of heavy metals was limited, and no specific relationships with solids were identified.
16 mean pollutant profiles are presented in the thesis. Presentation of the data in this form will enable the results to be of use in the design of sedimentation devices to predict removal efficiencies for solids and associated pollutants. The findings of the research may also be applied to modelling tools to provide further characteristics on the solids that are modelled than is currently used. This would enhance the overall performance of tools used in integrated catchment modelling.
Date of AwardNov 1997
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPeter D Hedges (Supervisor)


  • wastewater
  • settling column
  • pollution
  • sedimentation
  • settling velocity measurement

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