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Laboratory and Numerical Modelling Compared with Field Trials of Dilution at the Sydney Desalination Plant Outfall

Author(s): B. M. Miller; G. P. Smith; J. E. Ruprecht.

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Keywords: Dense jets; Field trials; Physical modelling; Plumes; Rhodamine; Outfall; Desalination

Abstract: Physical and numerical modelling was undertaken as part of the diffuser design of the Sydney Desalination Plant brine multiport outfall. Subsequent to the construction, field investigations to validate the diffuser performance were undertaken with the desalination plant operating at full capacity. This paper presents the laboratory and field methodologies and provides a comparison between the model predictions and field performance. Laboratory testing of many diffuser configurations were undertaken in a 4.5m x 4.5m x 0.6m tank. Two full days of field dilution testing were undertaken where a known concentration of Rhodamine WT fluorescent dye was injected into the seawater concentrate discharge and the concentrations in the receiving waters were measured using both diver-held and boat-cast fluorimeters. Measurements of the plume depth and geometry were also derived by analyzing the backscatter from ADCP current meter transects. The dilutions in the receiving waters were effected by varying currents. These field observations show how actual conditions can vary from laboratory conditions, but also provide reassurance that the laboratory and numerical predictions are slightly conservative.


Year: 2016

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