IWA Publishing

Use of marine outfalls in wastewater disposal

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Global experience has shown that disposing of properly treated domestic wastewater through effective ocean outfalls is an economical and reliable strategy for wastewater disposal with minimal environmental impact.

Better construction techniques, such as tunnelling, coupled with improved materials mean that the technology of marine wastewater disposal has advanced rapidly in recent years.

Oceanographic instrumentation is also rapidly advancing and this, alongside laboratory techniques such as laser-induced fluorescence, used to study the mixing of discharged flow close to the end of the outfall - near field plume mixing – means a now greater understanding of three dimensional coastal water dynamics and near field processes and the mechanisms that work to assimilate and render the discharged pollutants harmless.

Advances in mathematical modelling ensure effective and economical outfall designs that protect both the environment and human health.

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