Effluent sampling completed for study examining dispersal patterns of wastewater plume

Posted August 7, 2020

SCCWRP and the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) have completed a comprehensive round of in-plant effluent sampling for a three-year study exploring how the dilution and mixing patterns of OCSD’s wastewater effluent plume are expected to change as more treated effluent gets recycled.

Data from the three-month sampling effort, completed in July, will be used to predict the concentrations of nutrients and other contaminants in the plume in the coming years.

Then, researchers will use a computer ocean model to simulate plume dispersion scenarios based on OCSD’s expected final water-recycling goal, including how contaminants in the plume are expected to affect biogeochemical cycling in coastal waters.

Increased wastewater recycling in the coming years is expected to reduce effluent volumes in drought-prone California, leading to more concentrated plumes that may have different buoyancy and mixing characteristics.

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