A mathematical model is applied to the design of two-storey final settling tanks. Computations show that the flow and suspended solids (SS) concentration fields for the upper and bottom tanks are similar. The flow field has the ‘two-layer’ structure, observed in real and laboratory settling tanks, consisting of a bottom current and a free surface return current with approximately equal heights. The SS concentration field is governed by the flow field (and vice versa). The SS concentration profiles are uniform in the major part of the tanks. The hydraulic and SS removal efficiencies improve with decreasing flow rate. In both tanks the outlet SS concentrations are lower than the maximum permissible value (20 mg l−1), with the upper tank showing a better performance than the bottom tank.

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