You are on page 1of 16

Settling Basin Design Criteria and Trap Efficiency Computation

Methods
By
Dr. Ing. Meg B. Bishwakarma
General Manager, Hydro Lab Pvt. Ltd.

(First published in November 1997 at the Department of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering, the
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway)

___________________________________________________________________________

Abstract:

Use of water resource from the sediment carrying rivers for the development of hydropower is a
big challenge. The withdrawn water from such rivers not only reduces the capacity of the
conveyance system but also to a great extent damages the under water machineries such as
turbine, valves, governors, etc. thereby causing the operation and maintenance problems. This
ultimately affects the economics of the generation. To cope with the problem, the option is to
design and construct settling basins in Run-of-River hydropower projects before the flow enters
into the plant which in turn helps to limit the exposure of hydraulic machineries to sediment. A
good settling basin not only reduces the sediment wear of the hydraulic machinery but also helps
in maintaining the generation regularity of the power plant particularly during monsoon when
the sediment concentration in the river flow is generally high. The performance of ae settling
basin is judged by its performance of settling suspended sediment in the basin as well as in
flushing out of the settled sediment from the basin. This paper concentrates on the design of
settling basin highlighting on the sediment settling performance of the basin. The various design
criteria and methods of computing trapping efficiencies are discussed in this paper.
1 Introduction
Natural erosion rates are very high in the Himalayan region including Nepal because of the
constant tectonic uplifting of the major mountain ranges and consequent down cutting of the river
system (Carson, B. 1985). All most all of the rivers and streams flowing through the Himalayan
sub-catchment carry a substantial amount of sediment particularly during monsoon. The sediment
may be in the form of gravel, sand and finer material depending on the river and its catchment
characteristics. The geology of the catchment is also another factor in contributing the sediment
to the river. Sediment concentration as high as 25,000 PPM have been recorded on major rivers
and it may be even higher on small rivers with higher gradient (Carson, B. 1985). The steep
rivers will also move cobbles and even boulders during flood events. Although intakes are located
and designed to limit the amount of sediment entering the system, in practice it can not be entirely
eliminated. The content of hard minerals like quartz is very high in the sediment as indicated by
the following chart from Khimti River in Nepal.

Mineralogical Analysis of Fine River-Bed Deposits


Grain size fraction: 0.125 to 0.250 m m
Magnetite
Limonite
Kyanite
Tourmaline
Garnet
Minerals

Chlorite
Biotite Station K-11
Phlogopite
Muscovite
Feldspar
Quartz

0 20 40 60 80 100
Percentage of Total Sam ple (%)

Fig.-1.1 Mineralogical content in the river deposit (Ref. - 7)

Sediment causes significant problems during the operation of hydro power plants built on
Himalayan Rivers. Sediment abrasion effects become more pronounced with increase in
operational head and hardness of sediment content. With sediment abrasion being one of the
principal causes of rapid turbine degradation, the role of settling basin is critical in providing
appropriate protection. Without reliable settling facilities, the need to deal with problems of
abrasion of the turbines can make a plant uneconomical. Most of the particles bigger than 0.15 to
0.3 mm must be excluded to minimise the cost related to turbine wear and generation losses
during maintenance of turbine (H Stle, 1993). Therefore, the settling basin has a direct influence
on both the efficiency and economics of a hydro power plant.

Unlike in the reservoir projects, in case of RoR projects the effect of sediment on the power plant
can be observed during first one or two years of operation. Since the RoR projects do not have
any room to store the incoming sediment to the intake there must be a facility at the intake to

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 1 of 16
bypass all of this to the downstream of the river. The diverted water from the intake to the
conveyance system for power production takes the suspended sediment as it is in the river and
hence regular cleaning is needed for regular power production. That is why it is most important to
think about the sediment exclusion facility to remove undesirable sediment of specified size and
quality right from the inception through design, construction and operation of a hydro power
project.

The main principle of the settling basin design is to reduce the mean flow velocity in the basin by
increasing the cross-section. In order to reduce the mean flow velocity the water conductor is
expanded into the basin by widening its width and lowering its floor through an expansion
transition and restored back through a contraction transition at the end of the basin. But the same
mean velocity can be obtained by various combination of depth and width of flow in the basin.
Each pair of depth and width is combined with certain length of the basin to achieve the desirable
trapping efficiency of the particular size particles. Normally, settling basins are constructed in
compartments, but in case of mini and micro hydropower projects single basin is most common.

The author in this paper tries to illustrate the concept and criteria adopted to design the settling
basin with respect to the trapping of the suspended sediment particles into the basin. The sediment
flushing system from the basin is not included in it. However, it is obvious that the best
performance of the settling basin depends on its ability of trapping the suspended particles as well
as flushing out of the settled particles from the basin.

2 Settling phenomena
The entrainment, transportation, and subsequent deposition of sediment depend not only on the
characteristic of flow involved, but also on the properties of the sediment itself. The most
important properties in the sedimentation process can be divided into properties of the particles
and the sediment as a whole. The settling phenomenon of particles has been studied rather
intensively during the last three decades. Due to the complexity of the phenomena, emphasis was
given to the study of the settling properties of the single particles (Senturk, Fuat & Simons B
Daryl, 1992). However, in turbid water it may be important to consider the settling of flocs.

To understand the behaviour of a suspended sediment particle in water one has to be aware of the
physical properties of the individual particle. The most important property is the fall velocity
which is dependent on size, shape and specific weight of the particle.

2.1 Size

As the natural sediment particles are irregular shaped and therefore, any single length or diameter
that is to characterize the size of a group of particles must be chosen either by arbitrarily or
according to some convenient method of measurement. Three such recommended methods for
describing the size of sediments are;

Sieve diameter: It is the length of the side of a square sieve opening through which the given
particle will just pass.

Sedimentation diameter: It is the diameter of a sphere of the same fall velocity and of same
specific gravity as the particle in the same fluid in the same condition.

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 2 of 16
Nominal diameter: It is the diameter of a sphere having the same volume as the particle.

2.2 Shape

The behaviour of the particle in fluid depends on its shape. Generally, a spherical particle has a
greater tendency of settling compare to the flatter one. Properties of very different geometrical
shape, but of the same volume and density, may behave the same in fluid. Hence, the shape may
be defined in terms of dynamic behaviour. In sediment analysis the most pertinent parameters are
sphericity and roundness. From the view point of simplicity and effective correlation, the
following expression of shape factor SF is most important (Vanoni A, 1977).

c
SF
ab

Shape factor for sand sediment is generally taken as 0.7 (Ref. 9)

2.3 Specific gravity

The sediment particles are formed due to the result of weathering and abrasion of parent rock
materials. During the process, the less stable material tends to weather fast and contain all the
constituents of the original material. Quartz and feldspar, because of their greater stability, are the
commonest material found in sediments moved by the rivers. Other softer materials are less
important from sediment induced wear point of view in the case of hydropower projects. The
specific gravity of the sand is very close to that of quartz equal to 2.65 and this value is often used
in calculations and analysis (Vanoni, A. 1977). Principally, the particles with greater specific
weight have higher settling velocity in the water.

2.4 Fall velocity

Fall velocity is the most important property of a sediment particle in the field of practical sediment
engineering. The fall velocity is the average terminal settling velocity of a particle falling in
quiescent, distilled water of infinite extent. The simplest shape for which information on fall
velocity exists is the sphere. Because natural sediment particles are not spherical, their fall velocity
can not be calculated directly from sphere data. For a sphere of diameter d the fall velocity w
for values of Reynolds number R wd less then 0.1 is given by Stokes law.

gd 2 s
w
18

Where; w is the fall velocity of the particle (m/s), g is the acceleration due to gravity (m/s2), is
the kinematic viscosity of water (mm/s), d is the size of the particle (mm), s is the specific
weight of sediment ( KN/m3) and is specific weight of water (KN/m3).

The fall velocity over the entire range of the Reynolds number, in terms of drag coefficient is
given by;

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 3 of 16
4 gd s
w2 = Where; CD is drag coefficient
3CD

Fall velocity of a particle is dependent on particle size, specific weight, particle shape, viscosity of
fluid and to some extent on the temperature. Fig.-2.1 shows the fall velocity in water w plotted
against particle diameter d for reference quartz spheres for different temperatures.

Fig.-2.1 Fall velocity of Quartz Sphere in Water (Ref. 9)

2.4.1 Effects of concentration on fall velocity


The fall velocity of a particular size particle decreases with increase of sediment concentration due
to interference of other particles. However, Jobson (Melon, A. M. et al, 1975) observed that
under certain conditions the fall velocity of a particle increased due to group settling. This is due
to the flocculation of high concentration of finer materials. When particles coalesce to fall in a
group the settling velocity increases. This phenomenon does not take place when the turbulent
mixing is sufficient as in the case of natural streams. Camp and McNown and Lin have developed
a diagram which gives fall velocity corrections for various concentrations (Melon, AM et al) as
shown in Fig.-2.2.

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 4 of 16
Fig.2.2 Comparison of Theories for Effect of Concentration on Fall Velocity (Ref. 3)

When sediment concentration is more than 2,000 PPM then the interference effects become
significant which reduces the velocity of the coarse sediment up to 10 % (Avery, P 1989)
Generally, the effects are not significant in terms of the ranges of sediment concentration and the
degree of accuracy for settling basin design.

2.4.2 Effects of turbulence on fall velocity


Very little theoretical or experimental work has been done so far on the effects of turbulent on the
fall velocity of a sediment particle. From the literature review by Jabson, it was found that in some
cases the velocity was increased and it was decreased in other cases (Melon, AM, 1975). From
the experiment he concluded that taking all the evidence together, the turbulence probably
increased the fall velocity slightly. Camp has developed a diagram to determine the sediment
removal ratio by knowing the w/v* and wAs/Q. This is shown in Fig.- 2.3.

Fig.-2.3 Effect of Turbulence on Fall Velocity (Ref. - 1)

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 5 of 16
3 Design concept
3.1 Ideal basin

The basic principle of an ideal basin was developed by Hazen (Avery, P. 1989). Following
assumptions are made for an ideal horizontal settling basin;

the flow is steady and uniform (plug flow)


the flow is quiescent (i.e. no turbulence)
solids entering in deposition zone are not resuspended.
Fig-3.1 shows a definition sketch of an ideal basin. To determine the length L and width B of
the basin, consider a particle entering the basin at point A.

B
v
D
w
Q

Fig-3.1 Definition sketch of an Ideal Settling Basin

Settling time Ts = D/w

Retention time Tr = L/v

For quiescent settling, all particles of settling velocity w are removed when retention time equals
to settling time. Thus ;

D/w = L/v = LA/Q = LDB/Q

=> w = Q/(BL) = Q/As

Where; D is the depth of flow (m), A is cross-sectional area of basin (m2), L is length of the basin
(m), B is width of the basin (m), V is flow velocity in the basin (m/s) and Q is the design discharge
(m3/s).

In general for both real and ideal basins, the ratio wAs/Q can be regarded as a dimensionless
indicator of the physical ability of a basin of surface area As to remove particles of fall velocity w
at supply discharge Q. The ratio Q/As is termed as surface loading.

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 6 of 16
3.2 The real settling basin

The illustration in section 3.1 above is just of an ideal case. The objective of good hydraulic
design of a real basin is to achieve conditions most closely relating to the ideal flow. However, in
reality it is very difficult to achieve the ideal case because of the turbulence, sediment
concentration, nonuniform flow situation, etc., but the principle remains the same. The following
factors mainly influence on the settling capacity of a real basin.

The turbulence of water in the basin.

Short-circuiting and current within the basin caused by ;


- current set up by poor inlet and outlet conditions and poor basin shape.
- separation and contraction zones which generates recirculation eddies.
- boundary friction which retards some flow zones and causes faster flow.
- wind induced surface currents.
- density currents induced by thermal effects or extremely high sediment
concentrations.
Therefore, it is very important to consider the above mentioned factors into the design of a real
settling basin to achieve the desirable settling efficiency. In order to satisfy the requirement for the
good hydraulic performance, the basin is divided into three main zones. Fig-3.2 demonstrates a
typical example of a real settling basin.

Inlet Uniform length Outlet


Fig-3.2 Definition Sketch of a Real Settling Basin

As shown in Fig-3.2, the basin consists of inlet, settling and outlet zones. They are briefly
described as below.

3.2.1 Inlet zone


This is a kind of transition designed for slowing down the velocity of flow by gradually increasing
the width and the depth of the basin. To achieve optimum hydraulic efficiency and effective use of
the settling zone, the inlet needs to distribute inflow and suspended sediment uniformly over the
vertical cross-sectional area of the basin. This will minimise the ineffective basin area at the inlet
and also avoid forming of density currents. Horizontal velocity variation across the width of the
basin affect the hydraulic efficiency considerably more than the velocity variations over the depth.
The following methods can be adopted to achieve good flow distribution.

- gradual channel expansion (preferably 6 to 8 degrees)

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 7 of 16
- baffles and screens
- submerged weir
- troughs with slots or orifices in walls or bottom
In order to achieve a good flow distribution in the inlet channel, it is always advantageous to
perform a physical hydraulic or a numerical model study for this section.

3.2.2 Settling zone

This is the main part of the basin where settling of the suspended sediment is supposed to take
place. The precondition is that the inlet as mentioned above fulfils the requirement. The settling
zone length is also called as the effective length of the basin. To be in safer side it is good to
consider the effective length equal to 85% of the uniform length of the basin.

According to Camp (Avery, P, 1989) the hydraulic behaviour of long narrow basin is superior to
that of wide low velocity basins. And also basin with higher (but nevertheless very low) values of
Froude number have better flow patterns and gives less dispersion. Generally, a minimum basin
length to width ratio of 2 to 3 is adopted from hydraulic considerations. The designer should keep
in mind that the site layout for settling basin in hydropower projects demand a minimum length.
From the operational point of view it is a good idea to divide a basin into at least two chambers
with a longitudinal wall instead of constructing a long and narrow basin.

3.2.3 Outlet zone


This is a kind of transition designed after the settling zone of a settling basin to facilitate for
getting back the flow into the conveyance system with design velocity by gradually narrowing the
width and depth of the basin. A good outlet should not create problem to the suspended sediment
to settle down in the settling zone. The operating water level in the basin is controlled by the
outlet, usually by a weir. The outlet transition may be abrupt than the inlet transition.

4 Settling basin design


It is impossible to design a settling basin which can remove all the suspended sediments coming
into it from economic point of view. The best combination of the following items needs to be
analysed with respect to cost and benefit to obtain the optimum efficiency of the basin during the
design.

Construction cost of the settling basins.


Initial cost of the turbines and auxiliaries with an objective of wear resistance depending
upon the type of turbine and quantity of erosion due to sediments.
Cost of overhaul and replacement of the components.
System for monitoring and operation of the power plant with an objective of reducing the
sediment exposure by partial or full close-down during periods of high sediment
concentration.
Cost of generation loss during flushing if the plant is to be designed for power plant close
down during flushing.

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 8 of 16
4.1 Design criteria

The design of a settling basin aims to meet the following criteria;

Determination of the maximum size of particles which can enter to the turbine without
causing major damages and facilitate exclusion of 95 to 100% of this and larger size
particles.
To manage with as minimum width as possible.
To use the length that is available depending on the topography and intake location
(topographical limitations).
To optimize sediment exclusion with respect to the cost parameters. Cost parameter in
this context are; cost of down time i.e generation loss, cost of repair and maintenance of
hydraulic machinery as well as civil, initial cost of the underwater machinery and the
construction cost of the basin itself.
To secure as high generation regularity as possible. To achieve this, the power plant
should be in operation most of the time and the basin should have adequate facility of
flushing out the sediments with minimum loss of generation.

4.2 Data requirement and analysis

It is very important to have the sediment data for the planning, design and operation of the
settling basin of a hydropower project. For a good design basis a comprehensive sediment
sampling program has to be performed, which after analysis, can provide a thorough knowledge
of suspended sediment load, concentration, particle size distribution and percentage of harder
material like quartz and feldspar. For RoR hydropower projects, information on the type and
concentration of the suspended sediments in the water taken for the power production is more
important than the information on the total sediment load of the river. The following information
should be available in order to proceed with the design.

A full description of the bed material in the river together with the size distribution curve.
An assessment of the size of sediment that can be removed in the dry season, at an average
condition, in the annual flood and in rare events.
An assessment of the suspended load sizes and concentrations and their seasonal variation.
Project description and salient features.

4.3 Trap efficiency computation methods

The optimum width and depth of a settling basin would be that which produces a flow velocity
below the value necessary to initiate movement of the bed material. Favourable settling conditions
need to be obtained where the mean water velocity in the basin is in the range of 0.1 to 0.4 m/s.
Generally, a velocity of 0.2 m/s is recommended at the initial stage of settling basin design in
Himalayan Rivers, based on net cross-sectional area for sedimentation (Stle, H, 1993). Enough
space for the deposition of sediment also needs to be provided. The basin must be able to exclude
the targeted particle size as set in the design criteria above in section 4.1. Various combinations of
depth and width together with length can be considered to achieve the targeted efficiency and the
best combination is finally adopted.

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 9 of 16
There are several methods adopted for the design and computation of trapping efficiency of
settling basins used for hydropower, water supply and irrigation projects. Some of the methods
commonly used are mentioned below with brief introduction of each.

Camps method
Hazens method
Vetters method
Physical model
Three dimensional numerical analysis

4.3.1 Camps method


Camps method is based on the classic approach to settling basin design. In this design Camp has
made assumptions that; fluid velocity and the turbulent mixing coefficient are the same throughout
the fluid and derived a relation as follows;

wAs w
f ,
Q v

Where; is the trapping efficiency, As is the basin surface area (m2), v* is the shear velocity
2
0 Q
= = gRSe , R is the hydraulic depth (m), Se is the hydraulic gradient, Se 2
and M
MAR 3
is the Mannings number (1/n).

w/v* is regarded as a dimensionless indicator of the effect of the fluid turbulence on a given
particle size. The trapping efficiency is read in the figure shown in Section 2.4.2 for the computed
values of w/v* and wAs/Q.

4.3.2 Hazens method


This method of design of a settling basin accounts for the effect of both turbulence and imperfect
flow distribution, which in real situation, is true by a general classification of basin performance.
The formula proposed by Hazen is given by;
1

mwAs m
1 1
Q

Where; m = performance parameter (m=0 for best and m=1 for


very poor)

The drawback of this equation is that several different physical effects are combined into a single
parameter m. It is therefore better for the designer to consider each effect separately, where
possible.

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 10 of 16
4.3.3 Vetters method
Vetters method of computing efficiency of a settling basin is virtually identical to the equation
proposed by USBR (Vanoni, A. 1977) which is given by the formula;
wAs

Q
1 e

In other words this is simply the best performance solution of Hazens equation i.e. curve for m =
0. Vetters equation is also corresponds to the turbulent side of Camps solution and thus to
implicit conditions of turbulence.

4.3.4 Physical model test


In order to simulate the hydraulic conditions of the flow in the inlet as well as in the basin a well
accepted method of design basis is the physical hydraulic model study. The model provides
opportunity to check the flow pattern and to adjust the structure if necessary, which in turn helps
in getting good efficiency with low cost. It is almost impractical to construct a full scale structure
for the testing purpose. So, a model is prepared in a laboratory, which represents the real
structure called the prototype. The relationship between model and prototype performance is
governed by the laws of hydraulic similarity, i.e. geometric, kinematic and dynamic similarity
(Webber, NB, 1995). There are various similarity laws such as Eular law, Froude law, Reynolds
law, and Weber law. The case of settling basin is an open channel flow situation and hence the
Froude law is applicable. In this case, geometric similitude and the same value of Froude number
in model and prototype produce a good approximation to dynamic similitude. Hence, for
compliance with the Froude law;

Vp Vm Vp Lp
Fp = Fm => ; Velocity:
gLp gLm Vm Lm

Qp Ap Vp Vp Bp Dp Tp Lp Vm
Discharge: ; Time:
Qm Am Vm Vm Bm Dm Tm Lm Vp
The subscripts p and m represent the prototype and model respectively. In the above similarity
equations, if we assume the scale ratio of the lengths equal to x then the velocity, discharge and
time scales in the model will be equal to x1/2, x5/2 and x1/2 respectively. The important factors to be
remembered while choosing the model scale are the space needed to fit the model into the
laboratory and the amount of water required to simulate the extreme flood events. In case of the
settling basin the sizes of the sediments also needs to be scaled down. As the laws of the similarity
does not apply for the particles having size less than 0.20 mm due to flocculation effect, the scale
should therefore not be too small (Stle, H. 1993). In order to avoid this problem particles of
different materials are also used in the model. In the past the physical model was the only method
for the flow and sediment simulations, but recently a three dimensional Numeral model has also
come into practice, which may be useful tool to simulate the suspended sediment in the settling
basins if represented correctly in the future.

4.3.6 Comparison among different methods


An example of settling basin trap efficiency computation of Puwa Khola Hydropower Project
from Nepal is illustrated as below. The methods, given in sections 4.3.1 to 4.3.3 are used for the

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 11 of 16
computation. Computation are based on the data used in the project; design discharge = 4.0 m3/s,
nos. of basin = 2, basin length = 40 m, width = 5.0 m and depth = 1.2 m.

Figure 4.1 Efficiency Versus Particle Size Curve

4.4 Split and settle an alternative to the conventional settling basin design

A new concept of settling basin design has been developed in NTNU by Dr. Haakon Stle. As the
sediment concentration is increased from surface to the bottom of a channel, the split and settle
concept takes the advantage of this variation of concentration over the depth of flow. This
concept can be used pressurised as well as gravity flow situation. The basic principle of settling of
the suspended particle is the same in this case also. The main difference is that in this concept,
instead of settling all the targeted size of particles in one operation, the upper and lower part of
the flow having lower and higher concentration are separated/splitted into two or more
basins/tunnels and the similar process is repeated until the water is of acceptable quality (Stle, H.
1997). The following sketch gives an idea of the principle.

Fig.-4.2 A Conceptual Sketch of Split and Settle (Ref.-7)


The split and settle concept is still under research stage. Studies are going on for optimum design
of sediment excluder based on this concept. This concept is expected to be more appropriate

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 12 of 16
where surface basin is not feasible from topographic reasons and in projects where existing
sediment exclusion facilities are not sufficient.

4.5 Stability of the settled particles

Besides providing facility to settle the suspended particles, a settling basin must also be designed
to ensure that there is no transport of the deposited sediment. Under critical conditions the
hydrodynamic forces acting upon a grain are just balanced by the resisting force of the particle.
The threshold of motion of a particle starts when the bed shear becomes greater than the critical
shear stress. The conditions at which the bed material just begins to transport are termed critical
conditions or the point of incipient motion. Shields diagram given in Fig.-4.3 is commonly used
to determine if critical condition are exceeded.

Fig.- 4.3 Shields Curve for Beginning of Motion (Ref. - 3)

In order to check the stability, the boundary Reynolds Number and dimensionless shear stress are
calculated and plotted on the diagram. If the plotted point falls under the curve then the particle
is said to be stable otherwise it is unstable. The boundary Reynolds number and dimensionless
shear stress are calculated by the following formulae;

Boundary Reynolds number; Dimensionless shear stress;

v*d o
R* ; v* gRSe ; *
s d
4.6 Flushing of settled particles

In order to ensure the production regularity to an acceptable limit the particles settled into the
basin has to be flushed out frequently. Settling basins are designed for a certain capacity of storing
sediments. When the capacity exceeds then the deposited material will tend to reduce the cross-
sectional area of the basin causing the increase in transit velocity and ultimately decreasing the
trapping efficiency of the basin. The deposition rate in the settling basin is very much dependent
on the suspended sediment concentration in incoming water and the particle size distribution for a
certain hydraulic conditions. Hence, the storing capacity of the basin decreases with increase in
the concentration, which demands a higher flushing frequency.

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 13 of 16
There are various types of flushing system designed for different projects depending on the
economic criteria. Basically, flushing system can be divided on the basis of plant operation point
of view which is given below (Ref. 7).
Power plant close down during flushing.
- conventional gravity flushing.
- mechanical removal
- manual removal (small scale project only)
Power plant in operation during flushing
- continuous flushing
- intermittent flushing, this includes; hopper system, the Beri system, the S4
system, the slotted pipe ejectors, dredging, scrapers, etc.

5 Discussion and Conclusion


Run of the river projects utilising water from the sediment loaded rivers have to face tremendous
affect of sediment induced wear in the hydraulic machinery. This causes significant increase in the
cost of repair and maintenance, loss of generation as well as the reduction in production
regularity. In order to reduce the affect of sediments a hydraulically efficient settling basin is most
important.

In order to carry out a more precise study of the size of the basins it is necessary to establish a
sediment inflow scenario based on sediment sampling programme. Optimum trap efficiency of a
settling basin for particular project should be determined on the basis of an optimization study
involving the all related cost parameters. However, at present very little data are available as
regard to turbine wear as a function of operating head, particle size and sediment concentration
for the optimization.

The three methods given in sections 4.3.1 to 4.3.3 are used to compute the trapping efficiency the
settling basins. The problem with these methods is that it is not possible to simulate the flow
pattern in the inlet and outlet regions. Since the geometry of the inlet transition varies with width
and depth, the flow pattern may be complex and the recirculation zones may be present which is
not favourable for the settling zone.

Generally, to simulate the water flow at inlet the physical model studies are performed. The best
shape and size of the transition as well as the basin are chosen to achieve the targeted efficiency.
However, it is difficult to simulate the finer sediment particles in a physical model as the sizes of
the particles have to be scaled down. The sediment particles having size less than 0.2 mm do not
folow the laws of hydraulic similarity because of flocculation effect. Suspended sediment is
therefore simulated with lighter weight material to study the sediment trapping and flushing ability
of the settling basins. The physical model is very useful tool to simulate the flow pattern at the
inlet, main basin and at the outlet zones. Authors view is that during planning stage Camps or
Vetters method may be used for computing the preliminary size of the settling basin. However,
during detail design stage it is most important to verify and modify if needed with the use of 3-
dimensional with the physical hydraulic model study.

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 14 of 16
References:

1. Avery, P (ed.) 1989. Sediment Control at Intakes, A design guide, BHARA Process
Engineering Division.
2. Carson, B, 1985. Erosion and Sedimentation Process in the Nepalese Himalaya; ICIMOD
occasional paper No. 1, Kathmandu, Nepal.
3. Melon, A. M., Richardson, E. V. and Simons, D.B.,1975. Exclusion and Ejection of
Sediment from Canals.
4. NORPLAN A.S. 1996. Feasibility study report Vol. - 1: Main Report, Neelum - Jhelum
Hydroelectric Project, Pakistan.
5. Senturk, Fuat and Simons B. Daryl 1992. Sediment Transport Technology, water and
sediment dynamics, water resource publication.
6. Stle, H, 1993. Withdral of water from Himalayan rivers sediment control at intakes.
7. Stle, H. 1996. Lecture notes on Sediment Engineering, NTNU, Department of
Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering, Trondheim, Norway.
8. Stle, H, 1997. Split and Settle _ A new Concept for Underground desanders. Published
in the Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Hydropower Trondheim,
Norway, 30 June - 2 July 1997.
9. Vanoni A. Vito (ed.), 1977. Sedimentation Engineering, ASCE Manuals and Reports on
Engineering Practice - No. 54.
10. Webber, NB, 1995. Fluid Mechanics for Civil Engineers.

settling basin design criteria and trap efficiency computation methods Page 15 of 16

View publication stats