White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Biodegradability of organic matter associated with sewer sediments during first flush

Sakrabani, R., Vollertsen, J., Ashley, R.M. and Hvitved-Jacobsen, T. (2009) Biodegradability of organic matter associated with sewer sediments during first flush. Science of the Total Environment, 407 (8). pp. 2989-2995. ISSN 0048-9697

Text (Main text)

Download (102Kb)
Text (Tables and Figures)

Download (253Kb)


The high pollution load in wastewater at the beginning of a rain event is commonly known to originate from the erosion of sewer sediments due to the increased flow rate under storm weather conditions. It is essential to characterize the biodegradability of organic matter during a storm event in order to quantify the effect it can have further downstream to the receiving water via discharges from Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). The approach is to characterize the pollutograph during first flush. The pollutograph shows the variation in COD and TSS during a first flush event. These parameters measure the quantity of organic matter present. However these parameters do not indicate detailed information on the biodegradability of the organic matter. Such detailed knowledge can be obtained by dividing the total COD into fractions with different microbial properties. To do so oxygen uptake rate (OUR) measurements on batches of wastewater have shown itself to be a versatile technique. Together with a conceptual understanding of the microbial transformation taking place, OUR measurements lead to the desired fractionation of the COD. OUR results indicated that the highest biodegradability is associated with the initial part of a storm event. The information on physical and biological processes in the sewer can be used to better manage sediment in sewers which can otherwise result in depletion of dissolved oxygen in receiving waters via discharges from CSOS.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Elsevier. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Science of the Total Environment. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Biodegradability; First flushes; Organic matter; Watercourse; Oxygen utilisation rate (OUR); Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO)
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Department of Civil and Structural Engineering (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2009 14:43
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2016 04:37
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.01.008
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.01.008
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8728

Actions (repository staff only: login required)