CFD: Modelling of Reservoirs and Wastewater Storage

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling can diagnose hydrodynamic and water quality issues and help design engineering solutions for all kinds of raw and potable water storage and wastewater vessels.

Mark Kowalski is our expert in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modelling

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3-D flow questions answered

WRc offers CFD modelling to diagnose problems with the hydrodynamics of all kinds of vessels, including settling tanks, bankside storage, service reservoirs, as well as contact tanks for disinfection, wet wells and Combined Storm Overflow (CSO) chambers. 

Our team of specialist modellers in water supply systems, microbiology and treatment processes, using a range of third party and open-source CFD packages, help our clients to:

  • Improve asset performance, thus maximising energy efficiency through modified design.
  • Inform asset design to avoid costly re-engineering.
  • Diagnose and model solutions for flow and water quality problems, including microbiological failures.
  • Minimise environmental impact using improved CSO design.

Receive bespoke, client-oriented advice

Our dedicated team will liaise with you to agree the most appropriate solution to managing your hydrodynamic or water quality issues.

Decrease costs and safeguard investment

Engineering solutions can be proposed, modelled and verified for a fraction of the solution cost and with lower investment risk.

Gain insights from leading experts and developers

The technical experts at WRc provide a range of modelling tools to predict performance on a wide range of environmental assets.

Increasing performance

CFD can be successfully applied to model the benefits of adding flow-diverting baffles to settling tanks to enhance their performance. The modelling software uses velocity and suspended profiles measurements to rapidly assess the benefits of various tank internal retrofits, to evaluate whether they can deliver the improvement in performance required at a given site.

Output is shown in a spreadsheet providing a front-end to run the programs, so that the user does not need to be involved in the details of grid creation or setting up data files required by the different CFD software packages.

Mitigating climate risk

CFD modelling can suggest solutions to reduce the concentration of harmful oocysts in bankside (raw water) storage which are potentially passed forward to treatment. For example, it can assist with settling issues stemming from windy weather conditions (i.e., where there is insufficient time for the reservoir to act as a setting tank for biological decay). Modelling can demonstrate solutions for this problem, such as careful positioning of inlet and outlet pipework and minimisation of ‘short-circuiting’ by introducing a short baffle curtain.

Improving water quality

Bacteriological growth in service reservoirs can pose a risk to chlorine residual levels in our tap water. CFD modelling to pinpoint design issues, when combined with sampling practices and evidence from service reservoir water quality incident reports, can reduce the risk of service reservoir bacteriological failure. WRc has used CFD modelling to:

  • Propose a small, optional, change to the orientation of the end of the inlet pipe which would induce greater vertical mixing and sufficiently disrupt an area of stagnant ‘dead’ water which was causing the client concern.
  • Demonstrate whether modifications to internal pipework would affect reservoir water quality, providing the client with justification in their proposed final design.

Related services

Minimising environmental impact 

CFD can be used to test design validity by capturing the effects of air, water and litter in a CSO system, greatly reducing build costs.

Using nothing more than careful design and hydrodynamics, WRc has re-designed a CSO with litter-diverting pre-chamber, reducing pollution spills into our environment.

    Read more about WRcCSO

    Network Water Quality Consulting

    The primary concern of the water industry is the protection of human health through the supply of water which is safe to drink.

    Our water quality and environmental scientists, process engineers and data science team are regularly called upon to collaboratively diagnose and recommend solutions to improve water quality compliance and reduce operational costs.

    Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019
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    Mark Kowalski

    Technical Director – Strategy & Planning

    Mark specialises in the development and use of asset management techniques to understand operational and business risks associated with water and gas sector assets. He regularly consults on projects relating to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling and optimisation of water quality in potable water storage. His experience also spans water efficiency and water conservation, including end-use analysis of household water consumption.