Modelling brine dilution from the proposed Adelaide desalination plant

Modelling brine dilution from the proposed Adelaide desalination plant

Water Technology has been engaged as part of the SMEC-Hatch Design Joint Venture who is designing Adelaide’s Desalination Plant to be built at Port Stanvac, South Australia. The $1.83 billion plant for SA Water will deliver 100 gigalitres of potable water per year, or half of Adelaide’s annual water supply. The first water is due to be produced in December 2010.

Water Technology provided specialist hydrodynamic modeling and coastal engineering services for the project. One of the key components of this work involved the design an innovative outfall diffuser using “duckbill” valves on the discharge ports. Water Technology coordinated a series of full size and scale model laboratory tests to assess the hydraulic performance and initial dilution characteristics of the modified discharge ports. The results were then used to develop an outfall diffuser that is capable of providing good dilution characteristics for the saline concentrate under a wide range of operating conditions.

Water Technology developed and calibrated a two dimensional hydrodynamic model of Gulf St Vincent and a detailed three dimensional hydrodynamic model of the receiving waters in the immediate vicinity of Port Stanvac. With these models, a large range of scenarios incorporating the saline concentrate discharge and different sequences of tidal and meteorological conditions, were simulated. These modeling scenarios assisted in quantifying the dilution characteristics of the saline concentrate around Port Stanvac and assisted to inform the design of the outfall diffuser.

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