Assessment of Hydrodynamic Separators for Storm-Water Treatment

Hydrodynamic separators are proprietary underground devices designed to remove floatable debris (e.g., leaves, trash, oil) and to remove suspended solids from storm-water runoff by sedimentation. They are designed for storm-water treatment in urban areas to meet tight space constraints. Limited data on the suspended solids removal performance of installed devices are available, and existing data are questionable because of the problems associated with assessment by monitoring. The objectives of our research are to: (1) investigate the feasibility and practicality of field testing to assess the performance of hydrodynamic separators as underground storm-water treatment devices; (2) evaluate the effects of sediment size and storm-water discharge on the performance of six devices from different manufacturers; and (3) develop a universal approach for predicting the performance of a device for any given application. In the field tests, a controlled and reproducible synthetic storm event containing sediment of a well defined size distribution and concentration was fed to a precleaned device. The captured sediment was then removed, dried, sieved, and weighed. To assess the performance of the devices, suspended sediment removal efficiency was related to a P├ęclet number, which accounts for two major processes that control performance: (1) settling of particles; and (2) turbulent diffusion or mixing of particles. After analyzing the data, all devices showed similar behavior, therefore, a three-parameter performance function was proposed for all devices. Performance functions were developed from the result of the field tests and parallel testing of two other full-scale devices in the laboratory. The performance functions can be used to determine the efficiency of the tested devices and to improve the selection and sizing of hydrodynamic separators and the assessment of their overall performance after installation.
Date Issued
Number of Pages
Journal Title
Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Rights Holder
Minnesota Water Research Digital Library
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Do Not Have Copyright Permission