School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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Liah Coggins

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 1686
Fax: (+61 8) 6488 1015

Start date

Mar 2012

Submission date

Mar 2016

Liah Coggins

Liah Coggins profile photo


Understanding the coupling between hydrodynamics and biological processing in waste stabilisation ponds: Towards improving treatment efficiency and engineering design


Waste stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are simple and robust systems that use both physical and biological processes for the treatment of wastewater. Despite being used worldwide for a century, performance of WSPs is not consistent with theories of how they perform. So, why do ponds differ in their treatment efficiency and performance, and how can we improve them? The overall objective of this project is to investigate the role and influence of sludge accumulation and biophysical processes in WSP treatment efficiency and performance.

Why my research is important

As one of the most important problems affecting people worldwide is the inadequate access to clean water and sanitation, it is imperative that new robust methods of purifying water at lower cost are found to minimise the use of chemicals and impact on the environment (Shannon et al. 2008). By combining fundamental knowledge of hydrodynamics and ecological processes, this research will advance our understanding of environmental system functioning, but will also produce an operational framework for better management of water resources, in particular waste stabilisation ponds (WSPs).


  • Prescott Postgraduate Scholarship

Sonar-equipped ROV used for profiling sludge distribution in WSP (Photo: A. Chua)

School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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Thursday, 19 September, 2013 11:39 AM