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Utilities that operate collection systems are facing increased costs due to population growth, aging infrastructure and new regulations. At the same time, many utilities are facing a decrease inthe available funds needed to meet their changing needs. As a result, utilities are searching fornew, more powerful problem-solving approaches to identify the right solution while continuing to provide a low cost, safe, and reliable service to their customers.

The application of Genetic Algorithm (GA) optimization is a powerful approach that many water supply utilities are currently embracing, with cities such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego using this technology to reduce costs and enhance system operating performance. GA optimization has been successfully applied to water supply system planning, design and operations since 1995. Until recently, the technology had not been successfully adapted for Collection System Utilities to capitalize on reducing their system costs through GA optimization.

Only now has GA optimization been able to be applied to stormwater, wastewater, and combined conveyance systems. This application gives utilities a systematic approach to evaluate millions of possible solutions to resolve complex, multi-objective infrastructure problems and identify the most cost-effective capital improvement program (CIP) or operational strategy. Building upon the past success of GA optimization for water distribution systems, CH2M HILL and Optimatics have recently developed a similar GA optimization application for collection systems. This application works with the EPA Stormwater Management Model (SWMM). SWMM has the capability tosimulate gravity and pressure conveyance systems and is commonly used to analyze systems that do not have adequate capacity to meet existing or future needs for sanitary, combined, and separate storm conveyance utilities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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