Hydrodynamic simulation (CFD– computational fluid dynamics) is one of the major tools for planning the reconstruction and operation of the structures in wastewater treatment plants, and its routine use is commonplace because of the cost savings and efficiency gains that can be achieved. This paper provides examples of how CFD can contribute to substantial improvements in the overall efficiency of WWTPs (wastewater treatment plants).The case studies presented in the paper include rarely investigated issues, such as the operation of aerated grit chambers, performance of primary settling tanks, mixing performance in oxidation ditches and return sludge control. The results show, that: (1) air intake rate can be strongly decreased in most of the grit chambers, (2) optimisation of the inlet geometry design of primary settling tanks is crucial, especially at high loads caused by storm events, (3) mixer performance design based on current design guidelines is often of an unnecessarily high capacity, (4) sludge recirculation rate should be optimized by CFD investigations based on secondary settling tank performance.


  • Results of little investigated processes are shown in the paper.

  • Air intake rate can be strongly decreased in most of the grit chambers.

  • Optimising primary settling tank performance leads to an enhanced removal efficiency, especiallyat high load (for example, storm events).

  • Grit chambers, primary settling, mixing and return sludge control should always be optimised by computational flow dynamics (CFD) simulations.

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