Numerical modelling of air-water flows in sewer drops

Water Sci Technol. 2017 Jul;76(3-4):642-652. doi: 10.2166/wst.2017.246.


The presence of dissolved oxygen (DO) in water flows is an important factor to ensure the aerobic conditions recognised as beneficial to preventing the occurrence of detrimental effects. The incorporation of DO in wastewater flowing in sewer systems is a process widely investigated in order to quantify the effect of continuous reaeration through the air-liquid interface or air entrained due to the presence of singularities such as drops or junctions. The location of sewer drops to enhance air entrainment and subsequently reaeration is an effective practice to promote aerobic conditions in sewers. In the present paper, vertical drops, backdrops and stepped drops were modelled using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code FLOW-3D® to evaluate the air-water flows due to the turbulence induced by the presence of these types of structures. An assessment of the hydraulic variables and an analysis of the air entrainment based on the available experimental studies were carried out. The results of the CFD models for these structures were validated using measurements of discharge, pressure head and water depth obtained in the corresponding physical models. A very good fit was obtained for the hydraulic behaviour. After validation of numerical models, analysis of the air entrainment was carried out.

MeSH terms

  • Drainage, Sanitary*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Oxygen / analysis
  • Waste Water*
  • Water Movements*


  • Waste Water
  • Oxygen