Sediment and pollutant load modelling using an integrated urban drainage modelling toolbox: an application of City Drain

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Numerical and computational modelling of flow and pollutant dynamics in urban drainage systems is becoming more and more integral to planning and design. The main aim of integrated flow and pollutant models is to quantify the efficiency of different measures at reducing the amount of pollutants discharged into receiving water bodies and minimise the consequent negative water quality impact. The open source toolbox CITY DRAIN developed in the Matlab/Simulink© environment, which was designed for integrated modelling of urban drainage systems, is used in this work. The goal in this study was to implement and test computational routines for representing sediment and pollutant loads in order to evaluate catchment surface pollution. Tested models estimate the accumulation, erosion and transport of pollutants—aggregately—on urban surfaces and in sewers. The toolbox now includes mathematical formulations for accumulation of pollutants during dry weather period and their wash-off during rainfall events. The experimental data acquired in a previous research project carried out by the Environmental Engineering Research Centre (CIIA) at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá (Colombia) was used for the calibration of the models. Different numerical approaches were tested for their ability to calibrate to the sediment transport conditions. Initial results indicate, when there is more than one peak during the rainfall event duration, wash-off processes probably can be better represented using a model based on the flow instead of the rainfall intensity. Additionally, it was observed that using more detailed models (compared with an instantaneous approach) for representing pollutant accumulation do not necessarily lead to better results.

Keywords: Bogotá city, build-up and wash-off processes, calibration and uncertainty analysis, City Drain toolbox, sediment and pollutant load modelling

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