Computer model shown to simulate dispersal patterns of wastewater plume in coastal ocean

Posted November 8, 2019

SCCWRP has used a computer model that simulates biogeochemical cycling in the Southern California Bight to predict the dispersal patterns of the Orange County Sanitation District’s wastewater effluent plume.

The model validation, completed in September, is the first phase of a three-year study that will examine how the plume’s dilution and mixing patterns are expected to change as more treated effluent is recycled in drought-prone California. The increased recycling will reduce effluent volumes, which is expected to lead to a more concentrated plume that may have different buoyancy and mixing characteristics.

During model validation, researchers showed that the model could successfully reproduce plume dispersal patterns captured in laboratory experiments.

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