In order to describe and evaluate the effect on the oxygen concentrations of a planned sewage outlet in the Port Shelter Bay in Hong Kong, a relatively simple BOD-DO-box model has been established. The model describes the oxygen concentration in 6 horizontal boxes in the central part of Port Shelter. Each box is vertically divided into 4 layers (sub-boxes). The oxygen concentration in each layer is described as a function of the vertical and the horizontal mixing, the oxygen demand of the sediment and the concentration of organic matter in the water. A finite difference transport dispersion model provided input data for the BOD-DO model.
Two main calculations have been made: one simulating the cold season (15°C) and one simulating the warm season (30°C). Furthermore sensitivity analyses have been carried out.
The calculations show an oxygen depletion of approximately 1 and 2 mg O2/l at 15° and 30°C respectively in the bottom layer over an area of approximately two sq. km. The highest oxygen depletion is calculated in the bottom layer. From the calculation it can further be concluded that the decay rate of organic matter in the water and the vertical mixing will influence the oxygen depletion considerably. In periods where either the decay rate is higher than 3 d−1, or the vertical mixing is considerably low an oxygen depletion higher than the calculated can be expected. The lowest measured oxygen concentration in Port Shelter during the period July-August 1982 was 1.7 mg O2/l. Therefore it can be expected that the planned outlet will cause oxygen-free or nearly oxygen-free conditions in the bottom layer in warm periods with low vertical mixing.