1. Presently, one of the mos~cited water quality parameters in the
freshwater hydrosphere (rivers, lakes, and reservoirs) is dissolved oxygen
(DO). The oxygen concentration in surface waters is a prime indicator of the
quality of that water for human use as well as use by the aquatic biota. Many
naturally occurring biological and chemical processes use oxygen, thereby
diminishing the DO concentration in the water. The physical process of oxygen
transfer or oxygen absorption from the atmosphere or air bubbles acts to replenish
the used oxygen. This process is termed reaeration.
2. Low-head hydraulic structures within the US Army Corps of Engineers
are generally associated with navigation projects. These structures are usually
"run-of-the-river" and are used to maintain a constant upstream pool
elevation. The oxygen transfer in these deeper, slower pools is lower than
that of the open river. Biological and chemical oxygen demands may accumulate
and concentrate in the impoundment and thereby degrade the DO concentration in
the stored water because of the excess demand compared to reaeration potential.
Without sufficient reaeration, release of
Wilhelms, Steven C.; Gulliver, John S..
Reaeration at Low-Head Hydraulic Structures.
US Army Corps of Engineers.
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