At present, the potential generation of methane in wastewater collection systems is ignored under international greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting protocols, despite recent reports of substantial dissolved methane formation in sewers. This suggests that the current national GHG inventories for wastewater handling systems are likely to be underestimated for some situations. This study presents a new catalogue of field data on methane formation in rising main sewerage systems and proposes an empirically-fitted, theoretical model to predict dissolved methane concentrations, based upon the independent variables of pipeline geometry (i.e. surface area to volume ratio, A/V) and hydraulic retention time (HRT). Systems with longer HRT and/or larger A/V ratios are shown to have higher dissolved methane concentrations. This simple predictive model provides a means for water authorities to estimate the methane emissions from other pressurised sewerage systems of similar characteristics.

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