May 2008, Vol. 20, No.5

Sewer Sociology

Mystery Flow: Part 1

Kevin L. Enfinger and Patrick L. Stevens

 

sew´•ẽr sō•ci•ol´ō•gy, the science of society, social institutions, and social relationships viewed through the eyes of a sewer; specifically, the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective sewer use of organized groups of human beings.

Most sewer flows are characterized by repeatable diurnal patterns that vary across weekdays, weekends, and holidays. Differences in land use are also apparent. Last month, we discussed how land use affects the shape of the diurnal pattern. This month, we test your sewer sociology skills with a mystery land-use example.

A hydrograph of flow monitor data from a location in Southern California is provided in Figure 1. Note that the wastewater flow increases during the week and is higher on weekends than weekdays.

Figure 1. Hydrograph of Sewer Flow Monitoring Data From a Mystery Land-Use Area

Click figure for larger view


A closer look is provided in the composite hydrograph shown in Figure 2, revealing four distinct patterns: weekdays (Monday through Thursday) shown in green; Fridays, shown in brown; Saturdays, shown in light blue; and Sundays, shown in dark blue.

Figure 2. Mystery Land-Use

Click figure for larger view


Based on this information, which of the following businesses do you think this mystery land-use pattern is?
        a) a call center.
        b) a casino.
        c) a shopping mall.
        d) a beach resort.

Think you know the answer? To enter our contest, click here and select the answer you think best describes this month’s mystery flow. Responses will be accepted until June 1. The winner, who will be drawn at random from correct responses, will receive a WE&T prize pack. We will announce the correct answer and the name of the contest winner on the Web site and in a future issue. Good luck

Kevin L. Enfinger is senior project engineer, and Patrick L. Stevens is vice president of engineering at ADS Environmental Services, a division of ADS LLC (Huntsville, Ala.).
 

Kevin L. Enfinger is senior project engineer, and Patrick L. Stevens is vice president of engineering at ADS Environmental Services, a division of ADS LLC (Huntsville, Ala.).

Kevin L. Enfinger is senior project engineer, and Patrick L. Stevens is vice president of engineering at ADS Environmental Services, a division of ADS LLC (Huntsville, Ala.).