Junction chamber at vortex drop shaft: case study of Cossonay
The drainage network of the city of Cossonay (Switzerland) is currently being adapted for future needs. In particular, it is required to drain increased storm discharges due to a population augmentation and to provide an adequate concept to overcome unfavorable geotechnical conditions. Vortex drop shafts are sewer manholes commonly applied in steep urbanized topographies to connect conduits across large elevation differences. In Cossonay, the existing 48 m high vortex drop shaft, with a diameter of 1.5 m, allowed the storm discharge to flow from the city to a watercourse issued at half of the valley height. The discharge capacity was initially assumed as 4.1 m3/s, but frequent pulsations and choking phenomena implied a reduced effective capacity of around 3.0 m3/s. A new planned vortex drop shaft will collect the supercritical inflows of four collectors in the old City Centre and spill them through a shaft of roughly 120 m height, restituting the flow at the valley bottom. It was pre-designed using FLOW-3D simulations to estimate the hydraulic features of the incoming flows and to predict the hydraulic behavior of the upper elements (before the water enters the shaft). The simulation thus included a novel junction chamber type and a steep inlet channel before the spiral intake. The numerical simulations provided a first layout of the structure that was then validated by physical model tests. The physical model was built at the Laboratory of Hydraulic Constructions (LCH) of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).