Hi, I am Madhu Murali
I have a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Hons). Before starting my PhD studies, I worked for two years at the WA Water Corporation’s Wastewater Quality Branch as a graduate engineer. In that role, I dealt with operational improvements to and approvals for regional recycling schemes and wastewater treatment plants.
About my PhD work
PhD topic: Investigation, modelling and impact analysis of varying wastewater concentration and inflows on sewer solids deposition and erosion processes
University: University of Western Australia
CRCWSC project in which I was involved: Managing interactions between centralised and decentralised water systems (Project C3.1), Subproject 1: Reducing sewer sedimentation and preventing sewer blockage
In the past decade, wastewater flows to sewers have been reduced as urban water consumption has fallen. Implementing local or ‘decentralised’ water recycling on a large scale can further reduce water use, and may result in the discharge of waste concentrate or ‘sludge' to sewers. My thesis aims to analyse the impacts of changing wastewater flows and characteristics on the deposition of sewer solids. The topic is important because excess deposition of sewer solids can lead to reduced hydraulic capacity and blockages in sewers.
A key outcome of my research is that I’m quantifying what happens to sewer solids (erosion and deposition, for example) when we use less water and increase decentralised water recycling. For this quantifying work, I am using experimental and modelling methods. Experimental results show less water use (which reduces wastewater discharge to sewers) has more significant impacts on the deposition of solids than the discharge of concentrate or sludge from recycling systems.
These results are being used to validate a model for simulating different wastewater flow and concentration scenarios. With this model, we’ll be able to determine threshold values of wastewater flow and concentration for different sewers to prevent excess solids deposition.
I'd love to see my research used to reduce impediments to the wider implementation of decentralised water recycling, or to maintain sewer system health while cities become water sensitive.
About my current work
I’m in the last stages of my CRCWSC project, validating the model and running scenarios to determine applicable guidelines for wastewater flow and pollutant concentration. From here, I’d like to use sonar sensors to study sewer solids deposition in more detail. This work would provide a more accurate way to measure deposits in sewers and help to improve my model.
Beyond my research, I’m keen to work in sanitation projects for developing countries.
How you can contact me
Madhu lives in Perth, Western Australia. Outside his work, he makes the most of the great climate in Perth to play tennis and go hiking.