Sludge management in waste stabilization ponds (WSPs) is essential for safeguarding the system performance. Sludge accumulation patterns in WSPs are strongly influenced by the pond hydrodynamics. CFD modeling was applied to study the relation between velocity profiles and sludge deposition during 10 years of operation of the Ucubamba WSP in Cuenca (Ecuador). One tracer experiment was performed and three sludge accumulation scenarios based on bathymetric surveys were simulated. A residence time distribution (RTD) analysis illustrated the decrease of residence times due to sludge deposition. Sludge accumulation rates were calculated. The influence of flow pattern on the sludge deposition was studied, enabling better planning of future pond operation and desludging.

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