Water that by-passes the normal flow path through the basin and reaches the outlet in less than normal detention time occurs to some extent in every basin. It is a serious problem, causing floc to be carried out of the basin due to the shortened sedimentation time.
The major cause of short-circuiting is poor inlet baffling. If the influent enters the basin and hits a solid baffle, a strong current and short-circuit result. The ideal inlet reduces entrance velocity to prevent development of currents toward the outlet, distribute water uniformly across the basin, and mixes it with water already in the tank to prevent density current. A near-perfect inlet consists of several small openings (100-200-mm diameter, circular [4-8-in or equivalent]) distributed through the width and depth of the basin. In these openings, the head loss is large compared to the variation in head between the dif-
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