This paper is concerned with the simulation and experimental study of hydraulic characteristics in a pilot Carrousel oxidation ditch for the optimization of submerged depth ratio of surface aerators. The simulation was based on the large eddy simulation with the Smagorinsky model, and the velocity was monitored in the ditches with an acoustic Doppler velocimeter method. Comparisons of the simulated velocities and experimental ones show a good agreement, which validates that the accuracy of this simulation is good. The best submerged depth ratio of 2/3 for surface aerators was obtained according to the analysis of the flow field structure, the ratio of gas and liquid in the bottom layer of a ditch, the average velocity of mixture and the flow region with a velocity easily causing sludge deposition under the four operation conditions with submerged depth ratios of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 and 3/4 for surface aerators. The research result can provide a reference for the design of Carrousel oxidation ditches.