Water Resources Management

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 2053–2069 | Cite as

A CFD Modeling Approach for Municipal Sewer System Design Optimization to Minimize Emissions into Receiving Water Body

  • Zhi ChenEmail author
  • Sangsoo Han
  • Fa-Yi Zhou
  • Ke Wang


The design of the urban sewage system is site specific, and it makes the use of three-dimensional (3D) model an alternative to a field study or a laboratory experiment. However, the use of 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in the study of the urban sewage system has been generally limited to the study of a single structural component with simplified assumptions. In this study, the 3D model that adopted the renormalized group (RNG) k-ε turbulence model, the volume of fluid (VOF) free water surface model and the particle tracking approach was verified comparing the predicted flow field data with the measurements in laboratory scale experiments. Then, the model was applied to optimize the design of the combined sewer system (CSS) in the city of Edmonton with multiple hydraulic structures. Considering the details of predicted flow characteristics and the behaviors of the suspended solids, the final design was chosen and implemented to reduce the water pollution induced by the direct combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharge to the receiving water body. It is shown that the proposed 3D CFD modeling approach is a cost-effective tool to design the municipal sewer system.


Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Flow characteristics Particle tracking Water quality 3D numerical model 



Segment area m2


Volume fraction


Drag coefficient


Time scale constant


Cunningham correction slip factor constant


Particle diameter m


Drag force per unit mass N kg−1


Froude number


Turbulent kinetic energy m2 s−2


Inflow rate m3 s−1


Flow rates in main siphon and side siphon respectively, m3 s−1


Flow rate through overflow weir m3S−1


Reynolds number


Particle Reynolds number


Fluid phase velocity m s−1


Particle velocity m s−1


Average velocity for a segment area A a of the cross section m s−1

U V, W

Mean streamwise velocity, lateral and vertical velocity, respectively, m s−1


Main chamber width 1.8 m


Global Cartesian Coordinate (j = 1 2, 3)


Turbulence dissipation rate m2 s−3


Molecular viscosity Pa s


Fluid density kg m−3


Particle density kg m−3


Kinematic viscosity m2 s−1


Lifetime of eddy s


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Building, Civil, and Environmental EngineeringConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Environmental Planning, Drainage ServicesThe City of EdmontonEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Engineering MechanicsDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina

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