Shape and initial dilution of Sand Island, Hawaii sewage plume

A. A. Petrenko*, Burton Jones, T. D. Dickey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The wastewater plume discharged from the Sand Island Treatment Plant, Hawaii outfall diffuser was mapped several times during September 25-October 1, 1994. The deeply submerged plume was patchy at its center thin on its edges, and displayed vertically separated layers on three out of five days of plume mapping. Complexity of the sewage plume shape was due to a combination of factors that include temporal and spatial variations in currents, temperature stratification, and internal tides. Equilibrium depth, thickness, and initial dilution of the sewage plume were derived from in-situ measurements proximal to the sewage outfall and were compred with simulation results from Roberts, Snyder, and Baumgartner (RBS) model. Simulation equilibrium depths were within 6 m of their measured counterparts in all but two cases, and simulated thicknesses of the plume were larger than measured thickness in all but two cases (out of 11 cases). Simulted dilutions were 1.9 times the dilution values derived from in-situ data. Dilution differences are explained by lack of temporal resolution in velocity measurements and differences between tbe engineering definition and the oceanographic characterization of initial dilutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-571
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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