Abstract

This study aims at defining a methodology to evaluate Ks reductions of gravel material constituting constructed wetland (CW) bed matrices. Several schemes and equations for the Lefranc's test were compared by using different gravel sizes and at multiple spatial scales. The falling-head test method was implemented by using two steel permeameters: one impervious (IMP) and one pervious (P) on one side. At laboratory scale, mean K values for a small size gravel (8–15 × 10−2 m) measured by the IMP and the P permeameters were equal to 19,466 m/d and 30,662 m/d, respectively. Mean Ks values for a big size gravel (10–25 × 10−2 m) measured by the IMP and the P permeameters were equal to 12,135 m/d and 20,866 m/d, respectively. Comparison of Ks values obtained by the two permeameters at laboratory scale as well as a sensitivity analysis and a calibration, lead to the modification of the standpipe equation, to evaluate also the temporal variation of the horizontal Ks. In particular, both permeameters allow the evaluation of the Ks decreasing after 4 years-operation and 1–1.5 years' operation of the plants at full scale (filled with the small size gravel) and at pilot scale (filled with the big size gravel), respectively.

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