Recharge characteristics of an effluent dominated stream near Tucson, Arizona
AuthorLacher, Laurel Jane,1964-
Groundwater recharge -- Arizona -- Tucson.
Sewage Environmental aspects -- Arizona -- Pima County.
Sewage disposal in rivers, lakes, etc. -- Santa Cruz River (Ariz. and Mexico)
Committee ChairMaddock, Thomas
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAlmost 90% of the treated sewage effluent processed by the two treatment plants serving the greater Tucson area is available for passive recharge through the Santa Cruz River streambed north of Tucson. In the absence of any major disturbance of the effluent channel, the recharge capacity of the streambed materials decreases over time as microbial activity, and possibly suspended sediments settling out of solution, act to clog the surficial sediments under the effluent stream. Effluent stream transmission-loss measurements made over the period from November 1994 to August 1995 provided data used to determine the average vertical hydraulic conductivity of the low-flow channel in the study reach through simulations using the computer model known as KINEROS2. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (KSAT) served as the calibration parameter in the model. The appropriate KSAT value was chosen for each set of field data by matching the observed and simulated downstream hydrographs for the study reach. KSAT values were corrected for viscosity changes resulting from changing average daily surface water temperatures over the study period. Saturated hydraulic conductivity values for the effluent stream channel ranged from a maximum of 37 mm/hr in January, 1995, following several major winter storms, to a minimum of 11 mm/hr in August, 1995, after a nearly six-month interstorm period. The saturated hydraulic conductivity values decay exponentially with time after the last major winter storm. The mathematical model describing this decay may be used to estimate effluent recharge rates under similar future meteorological and climatological conditions.
Degree NamePh. D.
Degree ProgramHydrology and Water Resources