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In the last decade there have been many advances in our understanding of sewer hydraulics as seen through flow monitoring data. Using depth and velocity scattergraphs, sewer managers and engineers are now able to spot bottlenecks and orifice flow, identify sewers needing cleaning, recognize sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), quantify a pipe's theoretical and operational capacity, verify pump capacity, and spot many other conditions. The basic scattergraph has been enriched by including iso-Quantity curves to determine flow rate at all depth-velocity combinations, iso-Froude curves to determine when flow may experience hydraulic jumps and undular (standing) waves, and modified Manning pipe curves that can correctly predict capacity in both uniform and non-uniform hydraulic conditions. These concepts have been incorporated into an instructional poster with 30 panels of individual stories and examples. Figure 1 is a thumbnail image of the poster.

The examples provided in the poster are not vendor specific, and they provide information for users of any type of area-velocity flow monitor. Each panel includes a scattergraph and text to explain the situation and what can be learned. The panels are arranged from simple to more complex from top to bottom. Figure 2 provides a closer look at a sample panel from the poster. This panel explains how a flow monitor can be used to determine the capacity of individual pumps in a pump station.

Other important issues and problems of interest to sewer managers and engineers are discussed in the poster and include:

Application of the Manning Equation using the Design Method, the Lanfear-Coll Method, and the Stevens-Schutzbach Method to easily determine actual pipe capacity under actual conditions as envisioned by CMOM.

Methods to identify and quantify capacity loss due to adverse pipe slopes, offset joints, and silt or debris.

Identification of SSOs upstream and downstream from a flow monitor.

Methods to identify or avoid critical velocity conditions that can cause hydraulic jumps, standing waves, or “sewer bores.”

Methods to identify faulty sensor performance.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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