Hydraulic Analysis

The following has been extracted from the notes of my training course ‘hydraulics and irrigation for on-site wastewater management’, conducted by the Centre for Environmental Training:

On-site system performance is dependent on both the treatment system and the land application system. Poor performance or failure is common in one or both elements of on-site systems. Poor hydraulic design is often a factor…there is little evidence of good hydraulic design in older systems and only limited evidence in many newer systems. Poor hydraulic design is evident in:

  • local overloading
  • uneven distribution
  • poor matching of dosing volume to size of irrigation area
  • line and emitter spacing often poorly matched to requirements of soil and vegetation
  • head loss
  • inadequate pressure at emitters
  • irrigation area too large to load evenly and effectively.

Where hydraulics is important:

  • tank sizing
  • treatment system component sizing
  • manifold sizing and design
  • pump sizing
  • correct selection and matching of componentry
  • land application system sizing.

Sound hydraulic design:

  • ensures treatment system and land application elements are matched
  • provides a higher level of assurance that long term performance is maintained
  • ensures regulatory requirements are met, even if not recognized or demanded by regulatory agencies
  • should be mandatory.

Hydraulic design has significant bearing on performance for a modest extra cost.

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