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Authors: Giraldi, D.* 
De' Michieli Vitturi, M.* 
Iannelli, R.* 
Title: FITOVERT: A dynamic numerical model of subsurface vertical flow constructed wetlands
Issue Date: 2009
DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2009.05.007
Keywords: Constructed wetlands
Reactive transport
Vertical subsurface flow
Unsaturated flow
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.02. Hydrology::03.02.06. Water resources 
05. General::05.01. Computational geophysics::05.01.99. General or miscellaneous 
05. General::05.08. Risk::05.08.01. Environmental risk 
Abstract: This paper introduces a mathematical model (FITOVERT) specifically developed to simulate the behaviour of vertical subsurface flow constructed wetlands (VSSF-CWs). One of the main goals of the development of FITOVERT was to keep the complexity of the model to an acceptable level, so as to provide a practical tool for design and operation optimization. The dynamic formulation of the model allows to simulate the typical non stationary feeding-emptying operation of VSSF-CWs. FITOVERT is able to describe the water flow through porous media in unsaturated conditions, combined with evapotranspiration; its biochemical module describes the degradation of both organic matter and nitrogen; the transport in the liquid phase is implemented for both dissolved and particulate components; the oxygen transport in the gaseous phase of the soil and its exchange with the liquid phase are also considered. As a main advantage, compared to the few currently available dedicated numerical models, FITOVERT is able to handle the porosity reduction due to bacteria growth and accumulation of particulate components, so that the clogging process is also simulated as an effect of the pore size reduction on the hydraulic conductivity of the simulated system. The performance of the model was firstly analyzed by comparison with hydrodynamic tests recorded in an experimental VSSF-CW pilot plant: tracer test were carried out in three different saturation conditions (fully saturated, partially saturated, and completely drained). FITOVERT proved to accurately simulate the hydraulic behaviour of VSSF-CWs in both saturated and unsaturated conditions. The needs for model improvements and further calibration are finally discussed.
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