Development of novel dynamic wastewater assimilative model for climate change adaptation
Ireland’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy highlights the urgent need to develop action plans for various sectors including the wastewater treatment facilities. The adaptation plans for this sub-sector must utilise the existing untapped potentials within the urban wastewater treatment system including the available capacity of the receiving water bodies to assimilate/dilute the effluent discharges. The available assimilative capacity of receiving rivers/streams is currently estimated using a crude approach based on the lowest river flow conditions only. This results in conservatively very low permissible emission load values (ELVs) that does not account for the dynamic variation of the dilution capacity of the receiving rivers/streams. Achieving these conservative ELVs continuously all around the year require excessive wastewater treatment processing that yields a very high carbon footprint.
The study will develop a mathematical dynamic model that accounts for the variation of the available assimilative capacity to estimate flow-dependent ELVs of receiving rivers in Ireland. The model will quantify the potential reduction in carbon footprint as a result of using the flow-dependent ELVs under current and different climate change and population growth scenarios. The study will provide the wastewater managers with an essential tool to optimise the operation of urban wastewater treatment plants (UWWTPs).
The project methodology entails: (i) selection of study sites (each consisting of an UWWTP and a river section), (ii) conducting a sampling programme to collect water quality data from the receiving rivers of the selected sites, (iii) development of a numerical model (using MIKE 21 FM) for the selected river sections, and (iv) Using the developed model to estimate the permissible ELVs and reduction in carbon footprint based on the assimilative capacity of the river/stream, and (iv) assessment of the assimilative capacity of receiving waters and the corresponding reduction in carbon footprint under future climate change and population growth scenarios.
Student requirements for this project
Min 2.1 Civil or Environmental Engineering or any related discipline
ME in Civil or Environmental Engineering or any related discipline (Desirable)
To make an application, please complete an Expression of Interest form available at the link in this ad.