The presence of hydrogen sulphide gas in sewerage collection systems is a common source of odour nuisance, corrosion of sewers and toxic atmospheres. The hydrogen sulphide build-up in the sewer air may be related to sulphide concentrations in the flowing sewage and with other factors, such as turbulence, aerodynamic conditions of the ventilating air now and roughness of the unsubmerged surfaces.
In the present work, a mathematical model is presented for forecasting hydrogen sulphide gas build-up along gravity sewers, which is based on the analysis of a differential mass balance equation applied to a sewer reach. Good correlation was obtained, comparing the results of the model with experimental information collected in the Funchal main trunk sewer. Funchal city is the capital of Madeira, a Portuguese island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and its main trunk sewer was put into operation at the beginning of 1980.