Water quality and habitat modelling in the urban River Tame
Urban river research is scarce. This thesis improves aspects of water quality and physical
habitat modelling for sustainable urban river environment management using the highly
urbanised River Tame in the West Midlands, UK as study catchment. Specifically, it focuses
on modelling at the catchment scale and during high flow discharges. The River Tame system
response to rainfall precipitation is complex, with influences from the wastewater treatment
acting concurrently with the intricate combined sewer system.
The complexity of the system response results in disassociation of critical flows with critical
water quality such as biological oxygen demand and ammonium, reinforcing the belief that a
design event approach for wet weather flow water quality modelling is impractical. Modelling
intermittent discharges on a catchment scale basis through utilisation of a simple water quality
model as opposed to sophisticated commercial tools achieved an acceptable level of success.
The same order of high flow load magnitudes as field observations was found.
Modelling physical habitat availability using a catchment scale methodology, which
eliminates the need for intensive field data collection was also demonstrated, suitable for use
particularly when water quality and flow regimes are the overriding factors in urban river
health. Here, habitat suitability observations from high-resolution simulations over short
distances were found to replicate lower resolution simulations over longer distances where
cross-sectional shape and channel slope of study reaches are similar.
However, with the knowledge of inter-relationships between the flow, water quality and
physical habitat remains limited, the development of an integrated management between these
different fields is still immature.