Predicting Air-Water Geysers and Their Implications on Reducing Combined Sewer Overflows

Thursday, 18 December 2014
YunJi Choi1, Arturo Leon1 and Sourabh Apte2, (1)Oregon State University, School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Corvallis, OR, United States, (2)Oregon State University, School of Mechanical Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Corvallis, OR, United States
An air-water geyser in a closed conduit system is characterized by an explosive jetting of a mixture of air and water through drop-shafts. In this study, three scenarios of geysers are numerically simulated using a 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. The three tested scenarios are comprised of a drop shaft that is closed at its bottom and partially or fully open at the top. Initially, the lower section of the drop shaft is filled with pressurized air, the middle section with stagnant water and the upper section with air at atmospheric pressure. The pressure and volume of the pressurized air, and hence the stored energy, is different for all three test cases. The volume of the stagnant water and the air at atmospheric pressure are kept constant in the tests. The numerical simulations aim to identify the correlation between dimensionless energy stored in the pressurized air pocket and dimensionless maximum pressure reached at the outlet. This dimensionless correlation could be used to determine the energy threshold that does not produce air-water geyser, which in turn could be used in the design of combined sewer systems for minimizing geysers.