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«River water quality modelling: Status quo Project acronym: SAM-CSO by Andreas Matzinger Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH for Kompetenzzentrum ...»

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River water quality modelling:

Status quo

Project acronym: SAM-CSO


Andreas Matzinger

Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH


Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH

Preparation of this report was financed in part through funds provided by

Berlin, Germany

© Copyright 2009 by the KompetenzZentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH. All rights including translation into other languages, reserved under the Universal Copyright Convention, the Berne Convention or the Protection of Literacy and Artistic Works, and the International and Pan American Copyright Conventions.

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Title River water quality modelling: Status quo Authors Andreas Matzinger, Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH Quality Assurance Kai Schroeder, Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH Jan Köhler, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany

Publication / Dissemination approved by technical committee members:

Christelle Pagotto, Veolia Eau Cyrille Lemoine, Veolia Environnement Recherche & Innovation Matthias Rehfeld-Klein, Senatsverwaltung für Gesundheit Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz Berlin Dörthe von Seggern, Senatsverwaltung für Gesundheit Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz Berlin Regina Gnirß, Berliner Wasserbetriebe Kay Joswig, Berliner Wasserbetriebe Erika Pawlowsky-Reusing, Berliner Wasserbetriebe Nicolas Rampnoux, Veolia Environnement Recherche & Innovation Emmanuel Soyeux, Veolia Environnement Recherche & Innovation Yann Moreau-Le Golvan, Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH Deliverable number D4

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Freshwater ecosystems are based on complex interactions of biogeochemical processes, i.e. physical (e.g., mixing, gas exchange), geochemical (e.g., nutrient recycling, oxygen consumption) and biological (e.g., algae growth, microbiologically catalysed chemical reactions) processes. Since the 1980s, water quality models have been used to better understand or untangle these processes and to make predictions on future development of lakes and rivers. Today water quality models have become important management tools for a variety of applied surface water issues.

In the KWB project SAM-CSO, water quality modelling is planned to be used to simulate the impacts of combined sewer overflows (CSO) on the River Spree. Of most concern for the River Spree are ammonia toxicity and low oxygen concentrations during CSO. As a preparation of the modelling effort within SAM-CSO, the report aims at (i) an overview of common concepts of river water quality models and (ii) a detailed account of model formulations that impact ammonium and oxygen regimes of lowland rivers.

Overview of common concepts In general, river water quality models split a river section into a finite number of

segments, for which the following three components are run:

 a hydraulic model, which calculates a flow field and – in the case of rivers – water depth for each simulated segment,  a transport model, which describes the (conservative) transport of dissolved and suspended substances between simulated segments and  a reaction model, which simulates all biogeochemical transformations.

Common approaches were discussed and classified according to complexity (chapter 2) for hydraulic models, transport models and the reaction sub-models  biological degradation,  acid-base equilibria,  closed mass balances,  processes at the sediment,  microorganisms,  phytoplankton species,  benthic algae and macrophytes and  organisms of higher trophy.

Ideally model complexity should be adapted to specific application to avoid unnecessary calculation time and data collection and to simplify interpretation of results.

Several popular river water quality models are studied in chapter three of this report and classified according to the defined complexity levels. Models have been chosen, based on their popularity in application and scientific literature (Qual2K, WASP7, CE-QUAL-W2, MIKE11, RWQM1), as well as their specific use for CSO assessment (RIVE, Qsim).

Moreover the model Infoworks RS was assessed, a relatively recent water quality application by Wallingford Ltd. The assessment showed that each of the studied models has certain aspects, which are dealt with in great detail. For instance, iv  Qsim is most detailed regarding biological parameters, which makes it well suited to represent seasonal changes in river water quality, including the impacts of phytoplankton succession, seasonal growth of benthic algae and macrophytes, as well as filter feeders.

 RIVE focuses particularly on different size classes of microorganisms, which may be critical when judging the effect of sewage inflow.

 WASP7 has the most detailed sediment compartment, enabling the representation of sediment feedback, increase of sediment thickness, compaction and seasonal erosion, which may be critical for channels used for shipping or the assessment of pollution with suspended particles.

 RWQM1 takes great care to consider full mass balances by following each chemical element throughout the river system.

On the other hand, none of the model applications reaches highest complexity level throughout. Although complexity can be adapted to a certain extent in all applications, only the tools Aquasim (for RWQM1) and Ecolab (for MIKE11) allow full and simple control of processes, process stoichiometry and process rates.

Adaptation of the model to specific questions will be of special relevance when integrating with an urban drainage model. Here, even more than in usual modelling studies it is necessary to reduce the complexity and the size of integrated models as far as possible.

Model formulations for ammonium and oxygen regime during CSO Along the focus of the project SAM-CSO, the fourth chapter of this report focuses on ammonium and dissolved oxygen (DO) in rivers, given their importance for aquatic organisms during the impact of CSO. Most relevant processes were identified (a) based on values and empirical relationships from literature or (b) based on steady-state ammonium and DO sensitivities for the River Spree, calculated using well documented water quality model equations.

For the River Spree during CSO influence, nitrification turned out to be the most important process for ammonium representation, whereas for the DO regime  oxygen consumption as a result of decay of organic matter in the water column,  photosynthetic oxygen production by phytoplankton or sessile plants,  exchange with atmospheric oxygen (often referred to as reaeration),  oxygen consumption as a result of decay of organic matter at the river bed and  nitrification were identified as major processes. For all the processes above, different modeling approaches are discussed in chapter 4 of this report.

Nitrification – The overview indicates that a simple approach, which assumes that nitrification depends only on NH4 and DO concentration may work well. More complex approaches, which consider populations of nitrifying bacteria, create a time lag in nitrification because populations need to build up. It is suggested to judge from future measurements in the River Spree, whether a significant delay of nitrification can be observed. If there is a significant lag, nitrifier population should be considered; otherwise a simple approach can be used.

v Decay of organic matter – The formulation of decay of organic matter in Qsim seems well suited to cope with organic decay during CSO. The main question is whether specific CSO constituents need to be included, such as microorganisms or an extra class of fast degradable organic matter.

Reaeration – Although many studies have dealt with reaeration, it is difficult to assess a sensible value for the River Spree. Different reaeration rates will therefore have to be tested.

Phytoplankton growth – Phytoplankton models are quite established. In the application for the River Spree local calibration of growth rates and/or adaptations to light conditions in the River Spree may be necessary.

Decay at sediment –The simplest possible approach should be used for the simulation of the River Spree for the evaluation of CSO. Depending on model tests, a simple temperature-dependent sediment oxygen demand or a sediment compartment with the same processes as in the water column might suffice. It is not suggested to use a more complex approach unless clearly indicated by measurements.




Süßwasserökosysteme beruhen auf komplexen Wechselwirkungen biogeochemischer Prozesse, d.h. physikalischer (z.B. Mischung, Gasaustausch), geochemischer (z.B.

Nährstoffrecycling, Sauerstoffverbrauch) and biologischer (z.B. Algenwachstum, mikrobiologisch katalysierte chemische Reaktionen) Prozesse. Seit den 1980er Jahren werden Gewässergütemodelle eingesetzt, um diese Prozesse einzeln aufzuschlüsseln oder besser zu verstehen und um die zukünftige Entwicklung des Gütezustands von Seen und Flüssen vorauszusagen. Heutzutage stellen Modelle ein wichtiges Management-Werkzeug für die Bearbeitung vielfältiger angewandter Fragestellungen im Bereich der Oberflächengewässer dar.

Im KWB-Projekt SAM-CSO ist geplant, Gewässergütemodelle einzusetzen, um die Auswirkungen von Mischwassereinleitungen (engl.: combined sewer overflows, CSO) auf die Gewässergüte der Berliner Stadtspree zu simulieren. Von größter Bedeutung während Mischwassereinleitungen sind die Ammoniaktoxizität sowie niedrige Sauerstoffkonzentrationen im Gewässer. Als Vorbereitung der Modellierungsarbeiten in SAM-CSO soll dieser Bericht (i) einen Überblick über gebräuchliche Konzepte von Fließgewässergütemodellen und (ii) eine detaillierte Aufstellung von Modellformulierungen bezüglich des Ammonium- und Sauerstoffregimes in Flachlandflüssen geben.

Überblick über gebräuchliche Modellkonzepte Im Allgemeinen teilen Flussgütemodelle einen Flussabschnitt in eine feste Anzahl von

Segmenten ein, für welche die drei folgenden Modellkomponenten berechnet werden:

 ein hydraulisches Modell, welches Fließgeschwindigkeit und Wasserstand für jedes simulierte Flusssegment berechnet,  ein Transportmodell, welches den (konservativen) Transport gelöster und suspendierter Substanzen zwischen den simulierten Segmenten berechnet und  ein Reaktionsmodell, welches alle biogeochemischen Umwandlungen berechnet.

In diesem Bericht diskutiert und nach ihrer Komplexität eingeteilt werden übliche Ansätze für hydraulische Modelle, Transportmodelle und Reaktionsteilmodelle für  biologischen Abbau,  Säure-Base-Gleichgewicht,  geschlossene Massenbilanzen,  Prozesse an der Gewässersohle (Sediment),  Mikroorganismen,  Phytoplankton-Arten,  benthische Algen und Makrophyten und  Organismen höherer Trophiestufen.

Idealerweise sollte die Modellkomplexität an den konkreten Anwendungsfall angepasst werden, um Berechnungszeit und erforderliche Datenmengen zu begrenzen und um die Interpretation der Berechnungsergebnisse zu vereinfachen.

vii Dieser Bericht betrachtet einige gängige Flussgütemodelle und teilt diese in Bezug auf ihren Komplexitätsgrad ein. Die Modelle wurden sowohl gemäß der Häufigkeit ihrer Anwendung und der Erwähnung in der wissenschaftlichen Literatur ausgewählt (Qual2K, WASP7, CE-QUAL-W2, MIKE11, RWQM1) als auch aufgrund ihres spezifischen Einsatzes für die Beurteilung der Auswirkungen von Mischwassereinleitungen (RIVE, QSim). Darüber hinaus wurde das Modell InfoWorks RS beurteilt, eine seit erst relativ kurzer Zeit verfügbare Gewässergüteanwendung der Firma Wallingford Software Ltd.

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