The prediction of the spatial and temporal flow regime is important for the efficient design and operation of the settling tank. The impact of the gravity current has been investigated by the temperature difference or artificial glass particles. This experimental study is designed to obtain the steady state of stratified flow with the consideration of the heavy density flow. Two different approaches were performed at lab scale considering the hydraulic similarity. One is the investigation of a heavy density current of saline water intrusion. The characteristics of the internal hydraulics are monitored using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). As a result of the saline intrusion, the internal flow established a continual density stratification of 3-layers in steady state. The other is the movement of activated sludge from a sewage treatment plant. The video image is captured to analyze the behavior of activated sludge in the settling tank. The experiments with various inlet baffle conditions suggest that the hydraulic characteristics of the two experiments are significantly different. As the distance between the baffle and inlet point was decreased, significant strength of saline density currents in the bottom layer was observed. However, the strength of the velocity in the bottom density currents appeared to be the opposite in the case of the activated sludge. The reason for the slower density current in the bottom layer is associated with the compressibility of activated sludge characteristics.

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