Analysis and integrated modelling of groundwater infiltration to sewer networks

Søren Liedtke Thorndahl, Jonas Dueholm Balling, Uffe Bay Bøgh Larsen

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Infiltration of groundwater to sewer systems is a problem for the capacity of the system as well as for treatment processes at waste water treatment plants. This paper quantifies the infiltration of groundwater to a sewer system in Frederikshavn Municipality, Denmark, by measurements of sewer flow and novel model set-up, which simulates the interaction between groundwater and sewer flow. The study area has a separate waste water sewer system, but the discharged volumes from the system are approximately twice the volumes from a tight system without infiltration. The model set-up makes use of two commercial models: MIKE SHE for simulation of groundwater transport and MIKE URBAN (MOUSE) [DHI, Hørsholm, Denmark] for simulation of sewer flow. By simulating the groundwater level and calibrating infiltration coefficients against sewer flow measurements, it has been possible to estimate the average infiltration to the sewer system with satisfying results. The infiltration processes are indeed complicated and to a large degree heterogeneous throughout the sewer system. The paper shows contribution from both saturated and unsaturated groundwater zones, which makes the modelling process complex. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)3228–3238
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Groundwater infiltration
  • Sewer networks
  • Integrated modelling


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