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Research group of Dr. Arturo S. Leon

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Project: Prediction and quantification of CSOs in combined sewer systems under extreme storm events

Funding Agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
PI: Arturo Leon

Violent geysers occur due to the uncontrolled release of air at a vertical shaft. Explosive geysers are highly destructive. Many municipalities operate their combined sewer systems (CSSs) at a fraction of their maximum system capacity to avoid geysers. Operating CSSs at a fraction of their maximum capacity means that combined sewer overflows (CSOs) occur more often than they should. CSOs are a major water pollution concern for approximately 772 cities in the U.S.

Our research has produced violent geysers in a laboratory setting for the first time. The geysers produced consist of a few consecutive eruptions (three to eight) within a time frame of a few seconds with heights that may exceed 30 m. These characteristics resemble those geysers that occurred in actual stormwater and combined sewer systems.

In addition to laboratory experiments, we are performing 3D numerical simulations of violent geysers using an open source CFD model, OpenFOAM. The numerical model was validated using our experimental results. Currently we are testing various retrofitting strategies in our Lab and using OpenFOAM.

A YouTube video of one of our geyser flow experiments can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7TJOnYEQSs&feature=youtu.be. We are also integrating our geyser mathematical module into the Illinois Transent Model (ITM), which we believe will have far reaching impacts in the engineering community because it will allow engineers to make more informed decisions in the design and retrofit of stormwater and combined sewer systems.

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This page has been updated on June 17, 2017 6:07 PM

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