The hydraulic behavior of waste stabilization ponds is rather complex, and the flow in ponds can at best be described as dispersed flow. The dispersion characteristics of existing ponds can be determined by tracer studies, but it is impractical to perform tracer studies under every possible hydraulic condition. On the other hand, in the assessment of pond performance, first-order kinetics for BOD removal and bacterial die-off have been generally adopted. In this study, a nonlinear least-squares scheme will be presented for the simultaneous estimation of the decay constant and the dispersion number from the well known Wehner-Wilhelm equation which describes the reduction in pollutant concentration in a chemical reactor exhibiting first-order kinetics and non-ideal mixing conditions. As an example, the procedure developed will be applied to actual BOD data obtained from model facultative ponds in Kuwait.

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