All the parts of an urban drainage system, i.e. the sewer system, the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and the river, should be integrated into one single model to assess the performance of the overall system and for the development of design and control strategies assisting in its sustainable and cost effective management. Existing models for the individual components of the system have to be merged in order to develop the integrated tool. One of the problems arising from this methodology is the incompatibility of state variables, processes and parameters used in the different modelling approaches.
Optimisation of an urban drainage system, and of the wastewater treatment process in particular, requires a good knowledge of the wastewater composition. As important transformations take place between the emission from the household and the arrival at the treatment facility, sewer models should include these transformations in the sewer system. At present, however, research is still needed in order to increase our knowledge of these in-sewer processes.
A comparison of the state variables, processes and parameters has been carried out in both sewer models (SMs) and activated sludge models (ASMs). An ASM approach is used for the description of reactions in sewer models. However, a difference is found in the expression for organic material (expressed in terms of BOD) and heterotrophic biomass is absent as a state variable, resulting in differences in processes and parameters. Reconciliation of both the models seems worthwhile and a preliminary solution is suggested in this paper.