Modeling air movement in sewer networks is needed in order to address the issues related to sewer odor complaints and sewer corrosions due to hydrogen sulphide in sewers. Most of the existing air flow models can only be applied in small sewer networks or the trunk lines of sewer systems. The purpose of this paper is therefore to propose a theoretical approach to formulate general governing equation set for modelling steady air movement in large sewer systems. This approach decomposes the sewer system of interest into its basic physical components as pipes and nodes, builds local topology of each pipe and each node based on geographic information system (GIS) data as the fundamentals of model formulation. It avoids manually identifying each branch of sewer system, eliminates the effect of physically closed networks in sewer systems on the governing equations, and considers key sewer components and all known driving forces. The proposed approach was applied to a real sewer system with over five hundred pipes. The results show that the proposed model is applicable in modelling air movement in a large sewer system and provides a general idea of sewer gases moving through the system and its emission.

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