Coupled hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry of reservoir destratification systems

Institution: University of Bath

Lead Supervisor: Dr Danielle Wain

Project Description

Drinking water reservoirs in the UK and around the world become depleted in oxygen in the summer, when layers of different temperature form due to increased solar heating. Besides being lethal for fish and other aquatic organisms, low oxygen leads to the growth of nuisance algae, leading to blooms, and the release of potentially harmful chemicals from the sediment. To deal with this problem, water utilities employ reservoir destratification systems that mix the water so that oxygen can mix downwards from the surface. Recently, utilities have been making new capital investments in surface mixers, which act in reverse by pushing water from the surface down to the bottom, creating circulation in the reservoir. Yet these destratification systems are imperfect, and utilities still suffer from water quality problems that must be dealt with through water treatment plant processes. Thus, the overarching goal of this project is to improve the management of water supply reservoirs that depend upon destratification for maintaining water quality. The project will involve applying the one-dimensional open source General Lake Model (GLM) to characterise hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry in Llandegfedd Reservoir, managed by Welsh Water. This will include collecting data to calibrate and validate the model.
The student will be based in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE) at the University of Bath, co-supervised by Dr Danielle Wain and Dr Lee Bryant, with input from Dr Rupert Perkins (Cardiff) and Thomaz Andrade (Welsh Water). The student will be provided with a desk and computer in ACE, and will use existing field equipment in the Water Quality Laboratory. This project will give a student with strong quantitative skills the opportunity connect theoretical models of lake behaviour (ensconced in the model) with real data to gain an appreciation of the unmodelled variability of the natural environment

Indicative timescale for project (subject to change)

 

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