Research Article Open Access

Numerical Modeling of Flow in a Horizontal Sand Filter

Ruth Mossad1 and Hal Aral2
  • 1 University of Southern Queensland, Australia
  • 2 Bay View Ave Clayton 3169, Australia


Problem statement: Horizontal sand filters may offer some advantage over vertical sand filters as they could be used for in-line treatment of wastewaters. Horizontal pipelines of tens and if not hundreds of meters length, filled with ordinary sand or permeable reactive media such as activated carbon or natural zeolite or iron filings, may be used to remove impurities from mine drainage waters, sewer and storm waters. Approach: However, in reality, in industrial-scale applications, the sand filled horizontal structures are almost always avoided due to the fact that water seeks out the path of least resistance. Once such a path is created, the vast majority of the water channels towards the least resistance zone and very small percentage of the water will go through the sand. Results: This study, applying numerical modeling using FLUENT software, which is based on the integral control volume approach, explores a number of geometries to identify a design that helps the inlet water to sweep the entire sand with the least channeling. The Navier Stokes equations for laminar and incompressible flow through porous media (i.e., the sand) including the viscous resistance were solved. Retention time of a fluid with properties similar to water, called tracer, were also estimated using Eulerian unsteady two phase flow analysis. Conclusion: The results of the models showed that the geometries involving a pipe with spiral protrusions or plate (baffles) inside, would be partially successful in drawing the water away from the channeling zone and moving it through the sand, however the geometry with the spiral protrusions uses much less power than the one with the baffles.

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 3 No. 2, 2010, 286-292


Submitted On: 1 February 2010 Published On: 30 June 2010

How to Cite: Mossad, R. & Aral, H. (2010). Numerical Modeling of Flow in a Horizontal Sand Filter. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 3(2), 286-292.

  • 2 Citations



  • Horizontal flow
  • laminar flow
  • numerical modeling
  • porous media
  • wastewater