Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A Novel Method to Capture and Analyze Flow in a Gross Pollutant Trap Using Image-Based Vector Visualization


A novel method is developed to capture and analyze several experimental flow regimes through a gross pollutant trap (GPT) with fully and partially blocked screens. Typical flow conditions and screen blockages are based on findings from field investigations that show a high content of organic matter in urban areas. Fluid motion of neutral buoyant particles is tracked using a high-speed camera and particle image velocimetry (PIV) software. The recorded fluid motion is visualized through an image-based, line integral convolution (LIC) algorithm, generally suitable for large computational fluid dynamics (CFD) datasets. The LIC method, a dense representation of streamlines, is found to be superior to the point-based flow visualization (e.g., hedgehog or arrow plots) in highlighting main flow features that are important for understanding litter capture and retention in the GPT. Detailed comparisons are made between the flow regimes, and the results are compared with CFD data previously obtained for fully blocked screens. The LIC technique is a useful tool for identifying flow structures in the GPT and areas that are subjected to abnormalities difficult to detect by conventional methods. The novel method is found to be useful both in the laboratory and in the field, with little preparation and cost. The enhancements and pitfalls of the LIC technique along with the experimentally captured flow field are presented and discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9



Gross pollutant trap


Computational fluid dynamics


Line integral convolution


Acoustic Doppler velocimeter


Particle image velocimetry


  1. Allison, R. A. & Chiew, F. H. S. (1995). Monitoring of stormwater pollution from various land uses in an urban catchment. The second international symposium on urban stormwater management: integrated management of urban environments, Melbourne, Victoria, 11–13 July (Vol. 2, pp. 511–516). Canberra: Institution of Engineers.

  2. Allison, R. A., Walter, K. A., Marx, D., Lippner, G., & Churchwell, R. (2000). A method for monitoring and analysing litter in freeway runoff as part of the Caltrans Litter Management Pilot Study. In R. H. Hotchkiss & M. Glade (Eds.), Joint conference on water resources engineering and water resource planning and management, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, July 30–August 2 (Vol. 104, p. 81). Virginia: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

  3. Brisbane City Council. (2004). Stormwater quality improvement devices (SQIDs) monitoring program summary. Draft report prepared by Water and Environment, City Design for Waterways Program. Queensland: Brisbane City Council.

  4. Borchardt, D. & Sperling, F. (1997). Urban stormwater discharges: Ecological effects on receiving waters and consequences for technical measures. Water Science and Technology, 36(8–9), 173–178.

  5. Cabral, B. & Leedom, C. (1993). Imaging vector fields using line integral convolution. In M. Whitton (Ed.), The 20th Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH 93) Anaheim California August 1–6 (pp. 263–270). Association for Computing Machinery (ACM): New York.

  6. Chrispijn, J. (2004). Assessing different at-source stormwater treatment devices in Hobart: Sullivans Cove and Brooker Highway performance trials. Stormwater Industry Association (SIA) bulletin, issue 117. http://www.stormwater.asn.au/tas/Enviro04Paper-Chrispijn.pdf. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  7. Cordery, I. (2005). Field performance of a vortex type gross pollutant trap. Australian Journal of Water Resources, 9(1), 49–54.

  8. Greenway, M., Muth, N. L., & Jenkins, G. (2002). Monitoring spatial and temporal changes in stormwater quality through a series of treatment trains: A case study, Golden Pond, Brisbane, Australia. In E. W. Stricker & W. C. Huber (Eds.), The 9th International Conference on Urban Drainage (9ICUD), Portland, Oregon, USA, Sept 8–13 (Vol. 112, p. 52). Virginia: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

  9. Harwood R. (2002). CSO modelling strategies using computational fluid dynamics. In E. W. Stricker and W. C. Huber (Eds), The 9th International Conference on Urban Drainage (9ICUD), Portland, Oregon, USA, Sept 8–13, vol. 112, pp. 8. Virginia: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). http://www.hydrointernational.biz/irl/other/information_library.php. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  10. Hossain, M. Z., Hirahara, H., Nonomura, Y., & Kawahashi, M. (2007). The wake structure in a 2D grid installation of the horizontal axis micro wind turbines. Renewable Energy, 32(13), 2247–2267.

  11. IDT (2005a). proVision-XSTM user manual for particle image velocimetry (software version 3.08). Integrated Design Tools, Inc. http://www.idtvision.com. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  12. IDT (2005b). X Stream™ Vision cross-platform user manual for high-speed CMOS digital camera (software version 1.13). Integrated Design Tools, Inc. http://www.idtvision.com. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  13. Kandlikar, S. G., Lu, Z., Domigan, W. E., White, A. D., & Benedict, M. W. (2009). Measurement of flow maldistribution in parallel channels and its application to ex-situ and in-situ experiments in PEMFC water management studies. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 52(7–8), 1741–1752.

  14. Kao, D. L., & Shen, H-W. (1998). Numerical surface flow visualization, NAS Technical Report, NAS-98-001, NASA. http://www.nas.nasa.gov/-News/Techreports/1998/PDF/nas-98-001.pdf. Accessed 20 March 2009.

  15. Lewis, J. (2002). Effectiveness of stormwater litter traps for syringe and litter removal. Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Catchment Hydrology. Report prepared for Melbourne Water Corporation, Melbourne Australia. http://www.clearwater.asn.au/resources/325_1.pdf. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  16. Li, C.-T., Chang, K.-C., & Wang, M.-R. (2009). PIV measurements of turbulent flow in planar mixing layer. Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 33(3), 527–537.

  17. Lippner, G., & Moeller, G. (2000). Study quantifies broom sweeper litter pickup ability. American Sweeper Magazine, 8(1). http://www.owp.csus.edu/research/papers/. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  18. Madhani, J. T., Dawes, L. A., & Brown, R. J. (2009a). A perspective on littering attitudes in Australia. The Environmental Engineer: Journal of the Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering, vol. 9(4) (p. 13). Canberra: The Institution of Engineers.

  19. Madhani, J. T., Kelson, N. A., & Brown, R. J. (2009). An experimental and theoretical investigation of flow in a gross pollutant trap. Water Science and Technology, 59(6), 1171–1127.

  20. Nielsen, J. S., & Carleton, M. G. (1989). A study of trash and trash interception devices on the Cooks River catchment, Sydney. Proceedings of the Australian Water and Wastewater Association 13th Federal Convention, Canberra, March, pp. 126–129. Canberra: Institution of Engineers, Australia.

  21. Quasebarth, T., Schroeder, D., Chappell, R., Churchwell, R., & Lippner, G. (2001). An investigation of factors influencing solids transport and deposition into highway drain inlets. In D. Phelps & G. Sehlke (Eds.), Bridging the gap: meeting the world’s water and resources challenges. World Water and Environmental Resources Congress 2001, Orlando, Florida, USA, May 20–24, vol. 111 (p. 184). Virginia: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

  22. Renka, R. J. (1996a). Algorithm 751: TRIPACK: a constrained two-dimensional Delaunay triangulation package. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Transactions on Mathematical Software (TOMS), 22(1), 1-8. New York: ACM.

  23. Renka, R. J. (1996b). Algorithm 752: SRFPACK: software for scattered data fitting with a constrained surface under tension. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Transactions on Mathematical Software (TOMS), 22(1), 9–17. New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

  24. Renka. R. J., and Cline, A. K. (1992). Scattered data fitting using a constrained Delaunay triangulation. International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (IMACS) Transactions on Scientific Computing: AI, Expert Systems, and Symbolic Computation, North Holland, June, vol. 3, pp. 208–214.

  25. Rushton B., England G. and Smith D. (2007). Proposed Guidelines for Monitoring Stormwater Gross Solids. In K. C. Kabbes (Ed), World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2007, Tampa, Florida, USA, May 15-19, vol. 243, pp. 58. Virginia: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

  26. Stalling, D., & Hege, H.-C. (1995). Fast and resolution independent line integral convolution. In S. G. Mair & R. Cook (Eds), The 22nd Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH ’95), Los Angeles, California, August 6–11, vol. n/a, pp. 249–256. New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=218448. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  27. Stovin, V. R., Saul, A. J., Drinkwater, A., & Clifforde, I. (1999). Field testing CFD-based predictions of storage chamber gross solid separation efficiency. Water Science and Technology, 39(9), 161–168.

  28. Telea, A. C., and van Wijk, J. J. (1999). Simplified representation of vector fields. In A. Telea & J. J. van Wijk (Eds), Proceedings of the 10th IEEE Visualization Conference 1999 (VIS ’99), San Francisco, California, October 24–29, vol. n/a, pp. 35–42. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=-&ar-number=809865. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  29. Thackston, E. L., Shields, D. F., & Schroeder, P. R. (1987). Residence time distributions of shallow basins. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 113(6), 1319–1332.

  30. Turk, G., and Banks, D. (1996). Image-guided streamline placement. In J. Fujii (Ed.), The 23rd Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH ’96), New Orleans, Los Angeles, August 4–9, vol. n/a, pp. 453–460. New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

  31. Van Drie, R. (2002). Development of a pollutant load algorithm (for Sydney Australia). In E. W. Stricker and W. C. Huber (Eds), The 9th international conference on urban drainage (9ICUD), Portland, USA, Sept 8–13, vol. 112, pp. 207. Virginia: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Download references


The authors acknowledge C-M Concrete Pty Ltd. (Mr. Phil Thomas) for its ARC linkage grant support and Ms Sarita Gupta Madhani for assisting with field study and editing.

Author information

Correspondence to Jehangir T. Madhani.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Madhani, J.T., Young, J., Kelson, N.A. et al. A Novel Method to Capture and Analyze Flow in a Gross Pollutant Trap Using Image-Based Vector Visualization. Water Air Soil Pollut: Focus 9, 357 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11267-009-9225-y

Download citation


  • Line integral convolution (LIC)
  • Gross pollutant trap (GPT)
  • Litter
  • Flow visualizations