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Optimization model for design of vegetative filter strips for stormwater management and sediment control

Description

Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are an effective methodology used for storm water management particularly for large urban parking lots. An optimization model for the design of vegetative filter strips that minimizes the amount of land required for stormwater management

Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are an effective methodology used for storm water management particularly for large urban parking lots. An optimization model for the design of vegetative filter strips that minimizes the amount of land required for stormwater management using the VFS is developed in this study. The resulting optimization model is based upon the kinematic wave equation for overland sheet flow along with equations defining the cumulative infiltration and infiltration rate.

In addition to the stormwater management function, Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are effective mechanisms for control of sediment flow and soil erosion from agricultural and urban lands. Erosion is a major problem associated with areas subjected to high runoffs or steep slopes across the globe. In order to effect economy in the design of grass filter strips as a mechanism for sediment control & stormwater management, an optimization model is required that minimizes the land requirements for the VFS. The optimization model presented in this study includes an intricate system of equations including the equations defining the sheet flow on the paved and grassed area combined with the equations defining the sediment transport over the vegetative filter strip using a non-linear programming optimization model. In this study, the optimization model has been applied using a sensitivity analysis of parameters such as different soil types, rainfall characteristics etc., performed to validate the model

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Date Created
2015

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Optimization model for the design of bioretention basins with dry wells

Description

Bioretention basins are a common stormwater best management practice (BMP) used to mitigate the hydrologic consequences of urbanization. Dry wells, also known as vadose-zone wells, have been used extensively in bioretention basins in Maricopa County, Arizona to decrease total drain

Bioretention basins are a common stormwater best management practice (BMP) used to mitigate the hydrologic consequences of urbanization. Dry wells, also known as vadose-zone wells, have been used extensively in bioretention basins in Maricopa County, Arizona to decrease total drain time and recharge groundwater. A mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) model has been developed for the minimum cost design of bioretention basins with dry wells.

The model developed simultaneously determines the peak stormwater inflow from watershed parameters and optimizes the size of the basin and the number and depth of dry wells based on infiltration, evapotranspiration (ET), and dry well characteristics and cost inputs. The modified rational method is used for the design storm hydrograph, and the Green-Ampt method is used for infiltration. ET rates are calculated using the Penman Monteith method or the Hargreaves-Samani method. The dry well flow rate is determined using an equation developed for reverse auger-hole flow.

The first phase of development of the model is to expand a nonlinear programming (NLP) for the optimal design of infiltration basins for use with bioretention basins. Next a single dry well is added to the NLP bioretention basin optimization model. Finally the number of dry wells in the basin is modeled as an integer variable creating a MINLP problem. The NLP models and MINLP model are solved using the General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS). Two example applications demonstrate the efficiency and practicality of the model.

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Date Created
2016

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The development and evaluation of biofuel production systems on marginal land

Description

The consumption of feedstocks from agriculture and forestry by current biofuel production has raised concerns about food security and land availability. In the meantime, intensive human activities have created a large amount of marginal lands that require management. This study

The consumption of feedstocks from agriculture and forestry by current biofuel production has raised concerns about food security and land availability. In the meantime, intensive human activities have created a large amount of marginal lands that require management. This study investigated the viability of aligning land management with biofuel production on marginal lands. Biofuel crop production on two types of marginal lands, namely urban vacant lots and abandoned mine lands (AMLs), were assessed. The investigation of biofuel production on urban marginal land was carried out in Pittsburgh between 2008 and 2011, using the sunflower gardens developed by a Pittsburgh non-profit as an example. Results showed that the crops from urban marginal lands were safe for biofuel. The crop yield was 20% of that on agricultural land while the low input agriculture was used in crop cultivation. The energy balance analysis demonstrated that the sunflower gardens could produce a net energy return even at the current low yield. Biofuel production on AML was assessed from experiments conducted in a greenhouse for sunflower, soybean, corn, canola and camelina. The research successfully created an industrial symbiosis by using bauxite as soil amendment to enable plant growth on very acidic mine refuse. Phytoremediation and soil amendments were found to be able to effectively reduce contamination in the AML and its runoff. Results from this research supported that biofuel production on marginal lands could be a unique and feasible option for cultivating biofuel feedstocks.

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Date Created
2013

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Analysis of photocatalysis for precursor removal and formation inhibition of disinfection byproducts

Description

Disinfection byproducts are the result of reactions between natural organic matter (NOM) and a disinfectant. The formation and speciation of DBP formation is largely dependent on the disinfectant used and the natural organic matter (NOM) concentration and composition. This study

Disinfection byproducts are the result of reactions between natural organic matter (NOM) and a disinfectant. The formation and speciation of DBP formation is largely dependent on the disinfectant used and the natural organic matter (NOM) concentration and composition. This study examined the use of photocatalysis with titanium dioxide for the oxidation and removal of DBP precursors (NOM) and the inhibition of DBP formation. Water sources were collected from various points in the treatment process, treated with photocatalysis, and chlorinated to analyze the implications on total trihalomethane (TTHM) and the five haloacetic acids (HAA5) formations. The three sub-objectives for this study included: the comparison of enhanced and standard coagulation to photocatalysis for the removal of DBP precursors; the analysis of photocatalysis and characterization of organic matter using size exclusion chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy and excitation-emission matrices; and the analysis of photocatalysis before GAC filtration. There were consistencies in the trends for each objective including reduced DBP precursors, measured as dissolved organic carbon DOC concentration and UV absorbance at 254 nm. Both of these parameters decreased with increased photocatalytic treatment and could be due in part to the adsorption to as well as the oxidation of NOM on the TiO2 surface. This resulted in lower THM and HAA concentrations at Medium and High photocatalytic treatment levels. However, at No UV exposure and Low photocatalytic treatment levels where oxidation reactions were inherently incomplete, there was an increase in THM and HAA formation potential, in most cases being significantly greater than those found in the raw water or Control samples. The size exclusion chromatography (SEC) results suggest that photocatalysis preferentially degrades the higher molecular mass fraction of NOM releasing lower molecular mass (LMM) compounds that have not been completely oxidized. The molecular weight distributions could explain the THM and HAA formation potentials that decreased at the No UV exposure samples but increased at Low photocatalytic treatment levels. The use of photocatalysis before GAC adsorption appears to increase bed life of the contactors; however, higher photocatalytic treatment levels have been shown to completely mineralize NOM and would therefore not require additional GAC adsorption after photocatalysis.

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Date Created
2011

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Insights on seasonal fluxes in a desert shrubland watershed

Description

The North American Monsoon System (NAMS) contributes ~55% of the annual rainfall in the Chihuahuan Desert during the summer months. Relatively frequent, intense storms during the NAMS increase soil moisture, reduce surface temperature and lead to runoff in ephemeral channels.

The North American Monsoon System (NAMS) contributes ~55% of the annual rainfall in the Chihuahuan Desert during the summer months. Relatively frequent, intense storms during the NAMS increase soil moisture, reduce surface temperature and lead to runoff in ephemeral channels. Quantifying these processes, however, is difficult due to the sparse nature of coordinated observations. In this study, I present results from a field network of rain gauges (n = 5), soil probes (n = 48), channel flumes (n = 4), and meteorological equipment in a small desert shrubland watershed (~0.05 km2) in the Jornada Experimental. Using this high-resolution network, I characterize the temporal and spatial variability of rainfall, soil conditions and channel runoff within the watershed from June 2010 to September 2011, covering two NAMS periods. In addition, CO2, water and energy measurements at an eddy covariance tower quantify seasonal, monthly and event-scale changes in land-atmosphere states and fluxes. Results from this study indicate a strong seasonality in water and energy fluxes, with a reduction in Bowen ratio (B, the ratio of sensible to latent heat fluxes) from winter (B = 14) to summer (B = 3.3). This reduction is tied to shallow soil moisture availability during the summer (s = 0.040 m3/m3) as compared to the winter (s = 0.004 m3/m3). During the NAMS, I analyzed four consecutive rainfall-runoff events to quantify the soil moisture and channel flow responses and how water availability impacted the land-atmosphere fluxes. Spatial hydrologic variations during events occur over distances as short as ~15 m. The field network also allowed comparisons of several approaches to estimate evapotranspiration (ET). I found a more accurate ET estimate (a reduction of mean absolute error by 38%) when using distributed soil moisture data, as compared to a standard water balance approach based on the tower site. In addition, use of spatially-varied soil moisture data yielded a more reasonable relationship between ET and soil moisture, an important parameterization in many hydrologic models. The analyses illustrates the value of high-resolution sampling for quantifying seasonal fluxes in desert shrublands and their improvements in closing the water balance in small watersheds.

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Date Created
2011

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Evaluation of ecolabelling criteria using life cycle assessment

Description

Ecolabels are the main driving force of consumer knowledge in the realm of sustainable product purchasing. While ecolabels strive to improve consumer's purchasing decisions, they have overwhelmed the market, leaving consumers confused and distrustful of what each label means. This

Ecolabels are the main driving force of consumer knowledge in the realm of sustainable product purchasing. While ecolabels strive to improve consumer's purchasing decisions, they have overwhelmed the market, leaving consumers confused and distrustful of what each label means. This study attempts to validate and understand environmental concerns commonly found in ecolabel criteria and the implications they have within the life cycle of a product. A life cycle assessment (LCA) case study of cosmetic products is used in comparison with current ecolabel program criteria to assess whether or not ecolabels are effectively driving environmental improvements in high impact areas throughout the life cycle of a product. Focus is placed on determining the general issues addressed by ecolabelling criteria and how these issues relate to hotspots derived through a practiced scientific methodology. Through this analysis, it was determined that a majority the top performing supply chain environmental impacts are covered, in some fashion, within ecolabelling criteria, but some, such as agricultural land occupation, are covered to a lesser extent or not at all. Additional criteria are suggested to fill the gaps found in ecolabelling programs and better address the environmental impacts most pertinent to the supply chain. Ecolabels have also been found to have a broader coverage then what can currently be addressed using LCA. The results of this analysis have led to a set of recommendations for furthering the integration between ecolabels and life cycle tools.

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Date Created
2012

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Analysis and modeling of residual compounds in process streams from U.S. wastewater treatment plants

Description

The presence of compounds such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment is a cause for concern as they exhibit secondary effects on non-target organisms and are also indicative of incomplete removal by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs)

The presence of compounds such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment is a cause for concern as they exhibit secondary effects on non-target organisms and are also indicative of incomplete removal by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) during water reclamation. Analytical methods and predictive models can help inform on the rates at which these contaminants enter the environment via biosolids use or wastewater effluent release to estimate the risk of adverse effects. The goals of this research project were to integrate the results obtained from the two different methods of risk assessment, (a) in silico modeling and (b) experimental analysis. Using a previously published empirical model, influent and effluent concentration ranges were predicted for 10 sterols and validated with peer-reviewed literature. The in silico risk assessment analysis performed for sterols and hormones in biosolids concluded that hormones possess high leaching potentials and that particularly 17-α-ethinyl estradiol (EE2) can pose significant threat to fathead minnows (P. promelas) via leaching from terrestrial depositions of biosolids. Six mega-composite biosolids samples representative of 94 WWTPs were analyzed for a suite of 120 PPCPs using the extended U.S. EPA Method 1694 protocol. Results indicated the presence of 26 previously unmonitored PPCPs in the samples with estimated annual release rates of 5-15 tons yr-1 via land application of biosolids. A mesocosm sampling analysis that was included in the study concluded that four compounds amitriptyline, paroxetine, propranolol and sertraline warrant further monitoring due to their high release rates from land applied biosolids and their calculated extended half-lives in soils. There is a growing interest in the scientific community towards the development of new analytical protocols for analyzing solid matrices such as biosolids for the presence of PPCPs and other established and emerging contaminants of concern. The two studies presented here are timely and an important addition to the increasing base of scientific articles regarding environmental release of PPCPs and exposure risks associated with biosolids land application. This research study emphasizes the need for coupling experimental results with predictive analytical modeling output in order to more fully assess the risks posed by compounds detected in biosolids.

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Date Created
2012

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Water-energy nexus insight: optimization of source waters for DBP control

Description

Local municipalities in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area have voiced an interest in purchasing alternate source water with lower DBP precursors. Along the primary source is a hydroelectric dam in which water will be diverted from. This project is an assessment

Local municipalities in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area have voiced an interest in purchasing alternate source water with lower DBP precursors. Along the primary source is a hydroelectric dam in which water will be diverted from. This project is an assessment of optimizing the potential blends of source water to a water treatment plant in an effort to enable them to more readily meet DBP regulations. To perform this analysis existing water treatment models were used in conjunction with historic water quality sampling data to predict chemical usage necessary to meet DBP regulations. A retrospective analysis was performed for the summer months of 2007 regarding potential for the WTP to reduce cost through optimizing the source water by an average of 30% over the four-month period, accumulating to overall treatment savings of $154 per MG ($82 per AF).

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Date Created
2011

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The Siemens hybrid process: mathematical modeling and analysis of an innovative and sustainable pilot wastewater treatment process

Description

To address sustainability issues in wastewater treatment (WWT), Siemens Water Technologies (SWT) has designed a "hybrid" process that couples common activated sludge (AS) and anaerobic digestion (AD) technologies with the novel concepts of AD sludge recycle and biosorption. At least

To address sustainability issues in wastewater treatment (WWT), Siemens Water Technologies (SWT) has designed a "hybrid" process that couples common activated sludge (AS) and anaerobic digestion (AD) technologies with the novel concepts of AD sludge recycle and biosorption. At least 85% of the hybrid's AD sludge is recycled to the AS process, providing additional sorbent for influent particulate chemical oxygen demand (PCOD) biosorption in contact tanks. Biosorbed PCOD is transported to the AD, where it is converted to methane. The aim of this study is to provide mass balance and microbial community analysis (MCA) of SWT's two hybrid and one conventional pilot plant trains and mathematical modeling of the hybrid process including a novel model of biosorption. A detailed mass balance was performed on each tank and the overall system. The mass balance data supports the hybrid process is more sustainable: It produces 1.5 to 5.5x more methane and 50 to 83% less sludge than the conventional train. The hybrid's superior performance is driven by 4 to 8 times longer solid retention times (SRTs) as compared to conventional trains. However, the conversion of influent COD to methane was low at 15 to 22%, and neither train exhibited significant nitrification or denitrification. Data were inconclusive as to the role of biosorption in the processes. MCA indicated the presence of Archaea and nitrifiers throughout both systems. However, it is inconclusive as to how active Archaea and nitrifiers are under anoxic, aerobic, and anaerobic conditions. Mathematical modeling confirms the hybrid process produces 4 to 20 times more methane and 20 to 83% less sludge than the conventional train under various operating conditions. Neither process removes more than 25% of the influent nitrogen or converts more that 13% to nitrogen gas due to biomass washout in the contact tank and short SRTs in the stabilization tank. In addition, a mathematical relationship was developed to describe PCOD biosorption through adsorption to biomass and floc entrapment. Ultimately, process performance is more heavily influenced by the higher AD SRTs attained when sludge is recycled through the system and less influenced by the inclusion of biosorption kinetics.

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Date Created
2011

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Legionella-- a threat to groundwater, pathogen transport through recharge basin media columns

Description

This study was devised to elucidate key information concerning the potential risk posed by Legionella in reclaimed water. A series of biological experiments and a recharge basin soil column study were conducted to examine the survival, growth, and transport of

This study was devised to elucidate key information concerning the potential risk posed by Legionella in reclaimed water. A series of biological experiments and a recharge basin soil column study were conducted to examine the survival, growth, and transport of L. pneumophila through engineered reclaimed water systems. A pilot-scale, column study was set up to measure Legionella transport in the columns under Arizona recharge basin conditions. Two columns, A and B, were packed to a depth of 122 cm with a loamy sand media collected from a recharge basin in Mesa, Arizona. The grain size distribution of Column A differed from that of Column B by the removal of fines passing the #200 sieve. The different soil profiles represented by column A and B allowed for further investigation of soil attributes which influence the microbial transport mechanism. Both clear PVC columns stand at a height of 1.83 m with an inner diameter of 6.35 cm. Sampling ports were drilled into the column at the soil depths 15, 30, 60, 92, 122 cm. Both columns were acclimated with tertiary treated waste water and set to a flow rate of approximately 1.5 m/d. The columns were used to assess the transport of a bacterial indicator, E. coli, in addition to assessing the study's primary pathogen of concern, Legionella. Approximately, 〖10〗^7 to 〖10〗^9 E. coli cells or 〖10〗^6 to 〖10〗^7Legionella cells were spiked into the columns' head waters for each experiment. Periodically, samples were collected from each column's sampling ports, until a minimum of three pore volume passed through the columns.

The pilot-scale, column study produced novel results which demonstrated the mechanism for Legionella to be transported through recharge basin soil. E. coli was transported, through 122 cm of the media in under 6 hours, whereas, Legionella was transported, through the same distance, in under 30 hours. Legionella has been shown to survive in low nutrient conditions for over a year. Given the novel results of this proof of concept study, a claim can be made for the transport of Legionella into groundwater aquifers through engineering recharge basin conditions, in Central Arizona.

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Date Created
2014