Effects of wastewater effluent on the South Platte River from Littleton to Denver

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4124




The U.S. Geological Survey 's one-dimensional steady-state water quality model was used to investigate the effects of the effluent from the Bi-City WWTP (Wastewater Treatment Plant) on the South Platte River. The Bi-City WWTP is operated by the Cities of Littleton and Englewood. The model was calibrated from a 14.5 mile reach for 5-day carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand, organic, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate using data collected during September 1983. Model verification was completed using data collected during October 1982 and January 1984 for all constituents except nitrite nitrogen. Nitrite nitrogen could not be verified for the cold temperature conditions of January of 1984. Measured benthic sediment oxygen demand used in model ranged from 1.01 to 2.77 grams per square meter per day. Model simulations were made for an estimated 7-day, 10-year discharge of 18 cubic feet per second, upstream from the outfall of the WWTP. Two groups of simulations were made for both warm and cold temperature conditions. In the first group of simulation variations were made in effluent 5-day carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand concentrations and flow rates. The second group of simulations varied the amount of nitrogen discharged as ammonia and nitrate. The extent of the mixing zone downstream of the WWTP outfall was determined by injecting Rhodamine WT dye into the effluent. The mixing zone was found to extend 0.8 miles during low-flow conditions. (USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
Effects of wastewater effluent on the South Platte River from Littleton to Denver
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
vi, 97 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.