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Project Name: Effluent Diffuser Design
Country: USA
Description: A fmulti-port diffuser structure was designed for a leading textile manufacturer's Virginia facility. The final effluent from the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) required a rapid mixing zone (RMZ) to incorporate the effluent into the receiving waters in accordance with Virginia water quality regulations. The critical design condition was to achieve effective mixing under low flow conditions in the stream to reduce acute toxicity. Low flow in the body of water, at the site of the client’s outfall structure, developed relatively small ambient velocities in the location of the outfall and embankment. Small lateral dispersion developed by the ambient currents made the RMZ very small with regard to acute toxicity (4 ft. radius max.). In order to meet the necessary dilution, intermediate division of the total mass was necessary before the final effluent reached the receiving waters. Furthermore, the physical flow discharged by the WWTP is small and would not generate a significant momentum through a multi-ported single pipe diffuser. Separate pipes were specified to carry each portion of the final effluent to each diffuser port; this ensures effective division of the flow within the RMZ spatial constraints. Using weir structures to divide the mass flow before discharge ensured that each port would discharge one-forth of the acute mass and reflected the mathematical modeling upon which the design was based. Once the diffuser structure was configured as described, environmental constraints required substantial structural design due to episodic flooding of the channel such as recently experienced under Hurricane Fran. The particular body of water experiences significant trees moving downstream under flood conditions due the erosion of the primary channel. Therefore, the flow splitting structure, as well as the diffuser structure, will experience heavy flood, submergence and probable collision with large trees which must be countered to enable the system to function under all flow regimes.
 

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