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Advancement in hydraulic modeling software for collection systems has been impressive; however, the costs and licensing issues have been prohibiting widespread use of such software. As a result, detailed collection system hydraulic modeling is being passed for oversimplified desktop applications. This paper explores alternatives for utilities with limited budgets to implement hydraulic modeling in their analyses.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Cincinnati, Ohio released an updated version of its well-known Storm Water Management Model, version 5 (SWMM 5) in October of 2004. SWMM 5 is capable of analyzing water quantity and quality for sanitary sewers in stormwater, separate, and combined collection systems. Unlike its predecessor, SWMM 5 incorporates similar modern software engineering methods and computational techniques as those in other commercially available models, and at the same time it is absolutely free. The cryptic DAT files are replaced with a more user-friendly graphical user-interface (UI). Nodes, links and catchments can now be digitized on screen, and corresponding data entered easily.

Hydraulic modeling has become simple enough that it can be used on any sized project to predict more accurate and realistic solutions. The same amount of data that is required to conduct a desktop analysis can be used to construct a hydraulic model. This paper provides ways to perform collection system modeling and planning, for both wastewater and stormwater systems, using SWMM 5. Case studies are presented for a stormwater culvert analysis application in South Florida, a large wastewater collection system application in North Carolina, and an urban stormwater conveyance system in Washington.

SWMM 5 is also compared for functionality with four popular hydraulic models that are commercially available: XP-SWMM, InfoSWMM, InfoSewer, and InfoWorks. The comparison matrix lists computational techniques, user-friendliness, data import/export capabilities, and software costs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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