Fabrice Rodriguez, Amélie-Laure Le Delliou, Hervé Andrieu
Sewer systems affect urban soil characteristics and subsoil water flow. The direct connection observed between baseflow in sewer systems under drainage infiltrations and piezometric levels influences the hydrological behavior of urban catchments, and must consequently be considered in the hydrologic modeling of urban areas. This research studies the groundwater contribution to sewer networks by first characterizing the phenomenon using experimental data recorded on a small urban catchment in Nantes (France). Then, the model MODFLOW was used to simulate the infiltration of groundwater into a sewer network and model dry weather flows at an urban catchment scale. This application of MODFLOW requires representing, in a simplified way, the interactions between the soil and the sewer trench, which acts as a drain. Observed average groundwater levels were satisfactorily simulated by the model while the baseflow dynamics is well reproduced. Nonetheless, soil parameters resulted to be very sensitive, and achieving good results for joint groundwater levels and baseflow was not possible.