Review of Artificial Destratification of Water Storages in Australia

This report was produced for the Urban Water Research Association of Australia, a now discontinued research program.

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Review of Artificial Destratification of Water Storages in Australia

Report no. UWRAA 9

December 1989

Synopsis

This report aims to review the current status of reservoir destratification in Australia, focusing on the effectiveness of artificial destratification in controlling biological and chemical aspects of water quality. The review presents information and comment from relevant literature as well as that obtained by discussion with persons responsible for Australian destratification applications.

Over fifty destratification applications have been examined in detail and are presented as case studies. The results of these applications are also examined in conjunction with discussions on the aquatic processes operating in stratified and destratified systems. The ways in which artificial destratification may act to alleviate water quality difficulties are discussed in the context of the Australian experience.

It is concluded that for the most part Australian destratification applications have been of limited success. The applications succeeded typically in attempts to alleviate problems associated with colour and turbidity and to a lesser degree problems associated with iron and manganese. It is in the area of algae control that destratification applications have been least successful, this report found that 68% of applications attempting to reduce and control algae levels failed to do so. The authors conclude that the relationships between mixing and algae responses are areas requiring the most urgent attention.

This report is the first part of a two-stage project and includes information explaining the principles of destratification as a water quality management tool. The second stage of this project, currently under way, involves field and experimental work on the effect of destratification on water quality in the Harding Reservoir in Western Australia. Both stages involve complementary hydrodynamic field and modelling studies of destratification. These latter studies, undertaken by the Centre for Water Research (The University of Western Australia) will be reported separately by the Urban Water Research Association of Australia.

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