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Accurate precipitation data are critical in analyzing and designing urban drainage infrastructure and for watershed-based hydraulic and hydrologic studies. In many cases, precipitation data drive the entire evaluation process by populating flow generation models. Inaccurate or erroneous precipitation data can be costly to both engineering consultants by wasting time during the calibration process and to our clients when poorly calibrated models are used to assess system performance or design improvements.

This paper introduces (1) the use of gage-adjusted radar data to estimate precipitation volumes for wastewater and water resources studies (i.e., sanitary and combined sewer systems); (2) methods to estimate the optimum number of rain gages for precipitation volume measurement; (3) the advantages and disadvantages of alternative measurement approaches; and (4) the use of radar precipitation data for enhancing collections systems planning, development, and operations and maintenance. This discussion includes an evaluation of data collected in South Florida, and an area-based cost comparison of gage-adjusted radar and rain gage methods for precipitation measurement.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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