Lesson 13: Sedimentation Basin Design and Problems

Designing a Rectangular Sedimentation Tank Introduction
Designing a rectangular sedimentation tank is similar in many ways to designing a flocculation chamber. However, water in a sedimentation basin is not agitated, so the velocity gradient is not a factor in the calculations. Instead, two additional characteristics are important in designing a sedimentation basin. The overflow rate (also known as the surface loading or the surface overflow rate) is equal to the settling velocity of the smallest particle which the basin will remove. Surface loading is calculated by dividing the flow by the surface area of the tank. Overflow rate should usually be less than 1,000 gal/day-ft.2 The weir loading is another important factor in sedimentation basin efficiency. Weir loading, also known as weir overflow rate, is the number of gallons of water passing over a foot of weir per day. The standard weir overflow rate is 10,000 to 14,000 gpd/ft and should be less than 20,000 gpd/ft. Longer weirs allow more water to flow out of the sedimentation basin without exceeding the recommended water velocity.

5. and volume of the sedimentation tank as well as the weir length. 6. If velocity is too high. 8.Specifications The sedimentation basin we will design in this lesson will be a rectangular sedimentation basin with the following specifications: • • • • • • • • • • • Rectangular basin Depth: 7-16 ft Width: 10-50 ft Length: 4 × width Influent baffle to reduce flow momentum Slope of bottom toward sludge hopper >1% Continuous sludge removal with a scraper velocity <15 ft/min Detention time: 4-8 hours Flow through velocity: <0. Calculate the required volume.000 gal/day-ft2 Weir loading: 15. Check flow through velocity. Divide flow into at least two tanks. 3. The calculations are as follows: 1. 2.000 gal/day-ft Overview of Calculations We will determine the surface area. Calculate the weir length. dimensions. Calculate the tank depth. 7. repeat calculations with more tanks. . Calculate the tank width and length.5 ft/min Overflow rate: 500-1. Calculate the required surface area. 4.000-20.

5 MGD.5 MGD 2. the surface area of one tank is calculated as follows: A = (500.1. Surface Area Next.R.000 ft2 . gal/day-ft2 In our example. = overflow rate. Where: A = surface area. Divide the Flow The flow should be divided into at least two tanks and the flow through each tank should be calculated using the formula shown below: Qc = Q / n Where: Qc = flow in one tank Q = total flow n = number of tanks We will consider a treatment plant with a flow of 1. gal/day O. We will base this surface area on an overflow rate of 500 gal/day-ft2 in order to design the most efficient sedimentation basin.R. the required tank surface area is calculated.5 MGD) / 3 Qc = 0. The surface area is calculated using the following formula: A = Qc / O. so the flow in one tank will be: Qc = (1.000 gal/day) / (500 gal/day-ft2) A = 1. We will divide the flow into three tanks. ft2 Qc = flow.

so the detention time should be 4 hours.(Notice that we converted the flow from 0. ft2 For our example.141 ft3 (Notice the conversions between days and hours and between cubic feet and gallons.48 gal) V = 11. Volume The tank volume is calculated just as it was for flocculation basins and flash mix chambers. We will consider a tank with automatic sludge removal.000 ft2) .5 MGD to 500. The volume of one of our tanks is calculated as follows: V=Qt V = (500.000 gal/day before beginning our calculations. detention time should be 6 hours. The optimal detention time for sedimentation basins depends on whether sludge removal is automatic or manual.000 gal/day) (4 hr) (1 day/24 hr) (1 ft3/7.) 3. by multiplying flow by detention time.141 ft3) / (1. the depth is calculated to be: d = (11.) 4. Depth The tank's depth is calculated as follows: d=V/A Where: d = depth. ft V = volume. ft3 A = surface area. When sludge removal is manual.

we get the following formula used to calculate the width of our tank: In the case of our example. we would use a smaller number of tanks. If the depth was too shallow. Width and Length You will remember that the volume of a rectangular solid is calculated as follows: V=LWd Where: V = volume L = length W = width d = depth For our tank. Our calculated depth is within the recommended range. the length has been defined as follows: L=4W Combining these two formulas.d = 11. If the depth was too great. using a larger number of tanks. the tank width is calculated as follows: W = 15. we would begin our calculations again.1 ft The specifications note that the depth should be between 7 and 16 feet. 5.8 ft .

4 ft2 Then the flow through velocity of the tank is calculated (with a conversion from gallons to cubic feet and from days to minutes): V = Qc / Ax V = (0. First.2 ft 6 and 7.26 ft/min The velocity for our example is less than 0.4 ft2) V = 0. Weir Length The final step is to calculate the required length of weir. 8. so it is acceptable. we do not need to repeat our calculations.The length is calculated as: L = 4 (15.000 gal/day-ft and use the following equation to calculate the weir length: .8 ft) L = 63.5 ft/min.000 gal/day) / (175.8 ft) (11.1 ft) Ax = 175. We will assume a weir loading of 15. Flow Through Velocity Checking the flow through velocity is done just as it was for the flocculation basin. the cross-sectional area of the tank is calculated: Ax = W d Ax = (15. As a result.0000928 ft3-day/gal-min) (500.

3 ft The weir length should be 33. gases in the water.000 ft2 and a volume of 11.3 ft. The weir length will be 33. shortcircuiting. = weir loading.L. This tank will have a surface area of 1. Review Sedimentation basin efficiency is influenced by floc characteristics. and weir loading.26 ft/min. the operator should test turbidity and temperature of the water and should visually survey the basin Design of a sedimentation basin involves the following steps: • • • • • • • Divide flow into at least two tanks. Calculate the tank depth. Conclusions Our plant should build a sedimentation tank which is 11.000 gal/day) / (15.000 gal/day-ft) Lw = 33.L Where: Lw = weir length. surface loading. in our example. gal/day W. repeat calculations with more tanks. The flow through velocity will be 0.141 ft3. the weir length is calculated as follows: Lw = (500.1 feet deep. Calculate the tank width and length.8 feet wide. and 63. ft Qc = flow in one tank. Calculate the required volume. Check flow through velocity.2 feet long.3 ft. gal/day-ft So. To ensure optimal performance. 15. . intermittent tank operation. algal growth on tank walls. water temperature. If velocity is too high. Calculate the required surface area.Lw = Qc / W.

To calculate tank depth: d=V/A To calculate width of a rectangular tank where length is four times the width: To calculate length of a rectangular tank where length is four times the width: L=4W To calculate flow through velocity: V = Qc / Ax To calculate weir length: Lw = Qc / W.R. New Formulas Used To calculate tank surface area: A = Qc / O.• Calculate the weir length.L .

The flow in the tank is 0. 6 feet wide. write "Insufficient information". The tank described in question 9 has a weir loading of 15.000 ft2 and a volume of 19. The depth is 12 ft. The sedimentation basin will be divided into two tanks. A sedimentation basin has a recommended detention time of 4 hours.Assignments 1. What is the surface area of one tank? 2.600 ft3. either email.4 cfs. a rectangular sedimentation basin divided into 3 tanks. The flow is 0. each with an overflow rate of 500 gal/day-ft2. If there is insufficient information to find the answer. What is the weir length? . What should the volume of the tank be. in cubic feet? 4. 1.600 ft3. What is a tank's flow through velocity? 10. an overflow rate of 600 gal/day-ft2.000 gal/day-ft. Is the overflow rate within the recommended range? 3. The basin will be divided into two tanks. Answer the following questions. Assume a weir loading of 15. A rectangular sedimentation basin has a surface area of 3. What is the tank's length? 7. A rectangular sedimentation basin has an overflow rate of 500 gal/day-ft2.2 MGD in a sedimentation tank. and 10 feet deep. mail or fax the assignment to your instructor. The flow into the basin is 0. What is the flow through velocity? 8. The detention time is 6 hours.5 MGD. What is the recommended weir length? 9.7 MGD. Show all of your work and circle the answer for each math problem below. When you are done. Given a flow of 5 MGD.4 MGD. The length is four times the width. What is the basin's depth? 5.000 gal/day-ft and a flow of 0. The volume of a rectangular tank is 19. and a detention time of 4 hours. A rectangular sedimentation basin is 24 feet long. A tank has a width of 10 feet and a depth of 12 feet. Flow into a sedimentation basin is 3. What is the tank's width? 6.

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