Snapshots of maximum eruption heights for four of our geyser experiments
Violent geysers produced in our Lab (heights may exceed 30 m). Geysers produced resemble those that occur in actual stormwater and sewer systems
Flow inside horizontal pipe for one of our experim. tests
Geyser that occurred in Highway I-35, Minneapolis
Simulated snapshots of flow inside horizontal pipe
Violent geysers occur due to the uncontrolled release of air at a vertical shaft. Explosive geysers are highly destructive. Many municipalities operate their combined sewer systems (CSSs) at a fraction of their maximum system capacity to avoid geysers. Operating CSSs at a fraction of their maximum capacity means that combined sewer overflows (CSOs) occur more often than they should. CSOs are a major water pollution concern for approximately 772 cities in the U.S.
Our research has produced violent geysers in a laboratory setting for the first time. The geysers produced consist of a few consecutive eruptions (three to eight) within a time frame of a few seconds with heights that may exceed 30 m. These characteristics resemble those geysers that occurred in actual stormwater and combined sewer systems. A YouTube video of one of our geyser flow experiments can be seen here.
In addition to laboratory experiments, we are performing 3D numerical simulations of violent geysers using an open source CFD model, OpenFOAM. The numerical model was validated using our experimental results. Currently we are testing various retrofitting strategies in our Lab and using OpenFOAM.
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