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Innovative Technology Provides Real Time Flow Data Management in Indianapolis

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This paper presents the program developed by the City of Indianapolis for managing its sewer flow data and describes how it is making real-time information available to several groups that have a stake in the City's environmental management programs. These groups include United Water, the contract operator for the City's collection system and its two WWTPs, the Capitol Improvement Program managers, the Clean Stream Team, engineering consultants conducting wet weather RDII studies, administrators who perform billing services to satellite wastewater treatment customers, and hydraulic modelers. The City has collected sewer flow data and rain gauge data for nearly twenty years, but the data existed in either paper form or on one or two person's computers. Often the data were not available to distribute for days, or even weeks after being collected.

The program today utilizes a network of 58 flow monitors and 21 rain gauges and the numbers are growing each year. Thirty-one of the flow monitors are located in the separated system and seventeen are located in combined sewer overflow structures. Data from flow monitors and rain gauges are automatically collected with IntelliServe – a web-based, real time notification system from ADS Environmental Services. In addition approximately 130 time-and-duration overflow monitors from Geotivity operate in the remaining combined sewer overflow structures. The City is also able to integrate data from monitors of multiple vendors into IntelliServe. They will soon be able to integrate all these data into a new SCADA System as well as deliver calibration data to the Radar Rainfall service provider.

In 2005 the City deployed the web-accessed IntelliServe system to collect and distribute flow and rainfall information to anyone in the City with a need for flow data. In addition the system issues real-time alerts for sewer problems that require immediate attention by operations personnel.

With the real-time alarming now being received, we have been able to reduce our dry weather inspection program from three full time inspectors for five days per week to a single inspector who operates on a 24-hour seven-day-per-week basis. Our CSO chalking operation has ceased as a result of the system. The new approach allows us to focus on exceptions in the sewers and not rely on continuous inspection to spot problems. It is a new way of doing business.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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