Generation of (synthetic) influent data for performing wastewater treatment modelling studies

Xavier Flores Alsina, Christoph Ort, Cristina Martin, Lorenzo Benedetti, Evangelina Belia, Laura Snip, Ramesh Saagi, Mansour Talebizadeh, Peter A. Vanrolleghem, Ulf Jeppsson, Krist Gernaey

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The success of many modelling studies strongly depends on the availability of sufficiently long influent time series - the main disturbance of a typical wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) - representing the inherent natural variability at the plant inlet as accurately as possible. This is an important point since most modelling projects suffer from a lack of realistic data representing the influent wastewater dynamics. The objective of this paper is to show the advantages of creating synthetic data when performing modelling studies for WWTPs. This study reviews the different principles that influent generators can be based on, in order to create realistic influent time series. In addition, the paper summarizes the variables that those models can describe: influent flow rate, temperature and traditional/emerging pollution compounds, weather conditions (dry/wet) as well as their temporal resolution (from minutes to years). The importance of calibration/validation is addressed and the authors critically analyse the pros and cons of manual versus automatic and frequentistic vs Bayesian methods. The presentation will focus on potential engineering applications of influent generators, illustrating the different model concepts with case studies. The authors have significant experience using these types of tools and have worked on interesting case studies that they will share with the audience. Discussion with experts at the WWTmod seminar shall facilitate identifying critical knowledge gaps in current WWTP influent disturbance models. Finally, the outcome of these discussions will be used to define specific tasks that should be tackled in the near future to achieve more general acceptance and use of WWTP influent generators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings. 4th IWA/WEF Wastewater treatment modelling seminar
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event4th IWA/WEF Wastewater Treatment Modelling Seminar 2014 - Spa, Belgium
Duration: 30 Mar 20142 Apr 2014


Conference4th IWA/WEF Wastewater Treatment Modelling Seminar 2014

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