Model studies of outfall systems for desalination plants. Part II. Estuary models.
Dispersion of heated brine from desalination plants and the dynamic equilibrium distribution of the waste are discussed, using San Diego Bay, Galveston Bay, and Delaware River models. In San Diego Bay, where minimal tidal current velocities exist and very little fresh water discharges into the system, the dispersion and flushing rates will be extremely low, and the time required to reach dynamic equilibrium will be comparatively slow. In the large, shallow estuaries such as Galveston Bay, care should be taken in selecting the outfall site as flow conditions are highly significant in overall dispersion rates and may tend to trap the plant effluent. In freshwater discharge, the mixing and dispersion rates vary directly with total freshwater flow into the estuary, while the time to reach dynamic equilibrium varies inversely with the total freshwater flow. These 3 models are considered to be typical of estuaries on which saltwater conversion facilities are likely to be located.