Support of sustainable management of nitrogen contamination due to septic systems using numerical modeling methods View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2013-05-09

AUTHORS

Liying Wang, Ming Ye, Paul Z. Lee, Richard W. Hicks

ABSTRACT

Nitrogen contamination is a serious concern to sustainable environmental management, and one important source of nitrogen contaminant is due to wastewater treatment using onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS, a.k.a., septic systems). This paper presents a study in which numerical modeling is used to support sustainable decision-making and management of nitrogen contamination by utilizing a recently developed GIS-based software, VZMOD, a Vadose Zone MODel for simulating nitrogen transformation and transport in vadose zone between drainfield of septic systems and water table. VZMOD is based on a physical model of unsaturated flow and nitrogen transformation and transport, and the model is solved numerically using the finite element methods. This is the major difference between VZMOD and other GIS-based software of nitrogen modeling. Using GIS techniques, VZMOD considers spatial variability of a number of hydrogeologic parameters such as hydraulic conductivity and porosity. A unique feature of VZMOD is that VZMOD addresses spatial variability of water table by using VZMOD together with ArcNLET, an ArcGIS-based software developed to simulate groundwater flow and nitrate load from septic systems to surface water bodies. VZMOD is designed to execute in different modes to be compatible with different levels of data availability in various management projects of nitrogen contamination. This paper presents an application of VZMOD at a neighborhood with hundreds of septic systems and heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity, porosity, and water table depth. The modeling results indicate that using septic systems at the considered neighborhood is unsustainable and more management means are necessary. More... »

PAGES

237-250

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s10669-013-9445-6

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10669-013-9445-6

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1037566998


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