Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Wetlands Systems for Water Pollution Control.
[en] tracer test ; Horizontal subsurface treatment wetland ; media size ; gamma distribution
[en] The objective of this paper is to evaluate using tracer tests, the role of the granular media size on the hydraulic behaviour of small -scale pilot horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF) gravel beds. The non-ideal flow was modelled by the tank-in-series model (TIS) using the moment analysis and Gamma distribution fitting using the Solver™ routine in Microsoft Excel™; the Plug Flow with Dispersion (PFD) model was also assessed. Tests were performed under a greenhouse in four identical pilot-scale gravel beds of 9:1:1 ratio, which received an equal, inflow of clear water. The influent flow rate was 40 L/day and the surface area of the pilot cells was 0.8 m². The pea gravel media used in the four beds were as follows: 3-5 mm, 6-8 mm, 8-10 mm and 10-12 mm. The tracer used was Potassium Bromide (KBr) with a concentration of 1 g Br/L, using a single-shot injection into the inlet distribution tubes. Tests were repeated three times, with identical materials and methods. Statistical differences were observed between replications. Water loss by evaporation of the unplanted gravel beds was of 11% for the smaller media size (3-5 mm) which is significantly different than the 4 to 5% obtained for the other media sizes. Tracer detention time, tracer peak time, volumetric and hydraulic efficiencies show all the same tendency which is a significant reduction with larger particles sizes. The two methods of calculation for the number NTIS by moment analysis and Gamma distribution fitting (using Solver™) are significantly different. The Gamma model increases the number of TIS with significantly higher values for smaller media sizes.