The effect of catchment characteristics on sewage settling velocity grading

  • J.N. Tyack

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A procedure has been developed which measures the settling velocity distribution of particles within a complete sewage sample. The development of the test method included observations of particle and liquid interaction using both synthetic media and sewage. Comparison studies with two other currently used settling velocity test procedures was undertaken. The method is suitable for use with either DWF or storm sewage.
Information relating to the catchment characteristics of 35 No. wastewater treatment works was collected from the privatised water companies in England and Wales. 29 No. of these sites were used in an experimental programme to determine the settling velocity grading of 33 No. sewage samples.
The collected data were analysed in an attempt to relate the settling velocity distribution to the characteristics of the contributing catchment. Statistical analysis of the catchment data and the measured settling velocity distributions was undertaken. A curve fitting exercise using an S-shaped curve which had the same physical characteristics as the settling velocity distributions was performed. None of these analyses found evidence that the settling velocity distribution of sewage had a significant relationship with the chosen catchment characteristics.
The regression equations produced from the statistical analysis cannot be used to assist in the design of separation devices. However, a grading curve envelope was produced, the limits of which were clearly defined for the measured data set. There was no evidence of a relationship between settling velocity grading and the characteristics of the contributing catchment, particularly the catchment area. The present empirical approach to settling tank design cannot be improved upon at present by considering the variation in catchment parameters.
This study has provided a basis for future research into the settling velocity measurement and should be of benefit to future workers within this field.
Date of AwardSept 1995
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPeter D Hedges (Supervisor)


  • settling velocity measurement
  • urban drainage

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