A major programme of research into the nature, behaviour and occurrence of sediment deposits associated with sewer systems has been carried out in the UK since 1988. This research has been co-ordinated by the UK water industry's Urban Pollution Management Programme. The main driving force behind this research has been the need to collect fundamental data to support the development of sewer flow quality simulation models. Research results have significantly enhanced knowledge pertaining to sewer sediments and this has proved to be crucial to the development of reliable modelling tools to predict the quality of sewer system discharges. Particular advances have been made in the ability to understand and represent the effects of sewer sediment rheology and the attachment of pollutants to sediments.
Many performance limitations of current models, such as MOSQITO and MOUSE TRAP, can be related to the modelling of sewer sediments. User requirements for the next generation of models will only be met if sewer sediments research results are fully utilised and further research can be tailored to meet end user driven modelling requirements. This paper reviews the results and applications of sewer sediments research in the UK and identifies additional research required to support further model development.