CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractStormwater quality has become an increasingly important issue in agricultural, urban, and construction sectors. Soil, nutrient, and pollutant discharge caused during rainfall events is one of the greatest sources of stormwater quality degradation. Enhanced stormwater treatment mechanisms are needed to economically and efficiently remove suspended pollutants in runoff. In this research, the performance of electrocoagulation (EC) combined with lamella settlers (LS) was investigated. EC is a highly effective and proven water-treatment technology that uses an electrochemical anode corrosion process to destabilize and remove contaminants and that has been shown to have widespread applications for treating a variety of wastes. LSs have been shown to enhance soil-particle capture by increasing the surface area and reducing the settling distance. This research demonstrated that the combination of EC and LS can enhance the sedimentation process while simultaneously decreasing the required detention time and size of traditional sediment control practices (i.e., detention basins, sediment basins). Combining EC with a LS is a novel approach for treating suspended particles in stormwater. In this project, bench-scale experiments were conducted using EC as pretreatment upstream of a LS reactor. Synthetic silica filler at concentrations of 500  mg/L, 1,000  mg/L, and 5,000  mg/L were used to evaluate treatment efficiency at 0.5-h, 1.0-h, and 1.5-h residence times. Collected data, including turbidity, total suspended solids, and particle size distribution, were used to statistically characterize the system’s sediment removal performance. Through a series of experiments and statistical analyses of the results, an optimized EC+LS reactor with 1.27-cm (0.5-in.) LS plate spacing and 1.5-h residence time reduced turbidity by up to 98% and total suspended solids by 99% in effluent when compared with a base case reactor with a 31.8 cm (12.5 in.) settling distance (no LS plates installed) and 0.5-h residence time without EC pretreatment. In addition, particle size distribution analyses resulted in a decrease in the D90 value by 84%, indicating that the optimized reactor was effective in capturing larger-diameter soil particles. To validate the laboratory results with synthetic sediment-laden influent, stormwater samples were collected from a construction site and treated through the optimized system, resulting in a turbidity reduction of 50% and TSS reduction of 69%.



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