Transport and biotransformation of organic carbon and nitrate compounds in unsaturated soil conditions
The lack of drinking water was one of the hot environmental issues that focused on the contaminants released from the failure of sanitary systems. Organic carbon and nitrate compounds were concerned since they represented a potential risk to human health and environment. Mathematical modelling was an effective tool for understanding and estimating the fate and transport of contaminants. An organic carbon and nitrate compounds transport model was developed using the mass balance concept. Richards and multiplicative Monod equations supported the estimating of advection-dispersion transport and biodegradation processes, respectively. The numerical solutions were obtained using the MATLAB programme. The model capability was evaluated using pilot scale experimental data. The depth-averaged time series of pressure head and contaminants concentration profiles were measured several times a week during 91 days. Simulations were found to provide reasonable agreement with the observed data. The aerobic biodegradation zone was observed within 15cm depth of soil column. Even though the column was operated for 91 days, soil microbes were enough to retard these contaminants. This confirmed that the developed model could be applied to simulate the transport of the contaminants under real time boundary conditions.