SCCWRP has developed computer mapping capabilities that capture the dispersal patterns of the Orange County Sanitation District’s wastewater effluent plume, the second phase of a three-year study exploring how the plume’s dilution and mixing patterns are expected to change as more treated effluent is recycled in drought-prone California.
The plume dispersion mapping capabilities, completed in April, were developed using particle tracking in a numerical ocean model that simulates biogeochemical cycling in the Southern California Bight.
Increased wastewater recycling in the coming years is expected to reduce effluent volumes, leading to a more concentrated plume that may have different buoyancy and mixing characteristics.
When completed, the model will be able to simulate plume dispersion patterns – as well as impacts on biogeochemical cycling in coastal waters – under a variety of potential water-recycling scenarios.
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