Design Modification of Water Supply Intakes in Mountainous Regions

by Adnan Alsaffar, (F.ASCE),
Yifan Zheng, (M.ASCE),
Karim Khalifa,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


Existing river intakes for several water treatment plants in the mountainous areas of western Venezuela have experienced severe difficulties with deposition of sediment. Excessive sediment clogged the trash racks, filled the intake forebays, and significantly reduced the efficiency and usefulness of the facilities. During low flow periods, the intakes were not able to provide adequate quantities of water to the plants. On the other hand, during high flow periods, the intake forebays were continuously flooded and water intakes to the plants contained heavy loads of sediment. Financial constraints did not allow the complete overhaul of the facilities. Therefore, design modifications were made to four existing intake facilities to minimize the intake and deposition of sediments inside the intake forebay. The studies initially involved the bathymetric surveys, sediment sampling, flood and low flow analyses, and physical inspection of the existing intake facilities. The design modification measures were developed to minimize, not to eliminate, the sediment intakes to the water treatment plants, thus to improve significantly intake efficiency and adequacy of flow during low flow periods.

Subject Headings: Water intakes | Water treatment plants | Mountains | Sediment | Water supply | Hydraulic design | Urban and regional development | Low flow | Venezuela | South America

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