A new look at geyser formation in sewer systems

Steve Wright


Several years ago, analysis of pressure and velocity data collected at a site experiencing many stormwater geysers suggested a mechanism for describing the data.  Laboratory experiments to try to reproduce the geysers were promising but inconclusive due to potential scale effects in the small scale experiments.  Subsequent experimenters have used this early work as the starting point for subsequent laboratory experiments.  Over the years, a number of videos from actual systems have been obtained and a review of important features from these videos calls into question certain aspects of the original hypothesis.  A n alternative explanation for the phenomenon has been developed and an experimental system has been identified that may help resolve the questions and will be explained.  However, laboratory experiments may also be impacted by scale effects and preliminary studies must be conducted to determine whether there is a fruitful path forward in advancing our knowledge of this phenomenon.

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