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Validation Methodology for Sanitary Sewer Modeling Projects

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Hydraulic models for sanitary systems rely on a large amount of information from a variety of sources. In most cases, especially in large systems, data gaps are significant and the modeler must make adjustments to obtain model connectivity. If changes are made without a set methodology, it may lead to adulteration of the database and a mixture of“iffy data”and good data without true accountability.

The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (GCDWR) has initiated a project for modeling the County's sanitary sewer system. Prior to initiating the hydraulic model of the sanitary sewer system, the County conducted a Sewer Gap Analysis study and categorized the level of validation of each record of the key sewer components (Gravity Mains, Manholes, Pressure Mains and Pumping Stations). This paper presents the methodology used in Gwinnett County during the first phase of model development including the data gap analysis, model building and water balance procedures.

Using a validation methodology and clearinghouse was vital in setting up a Phase 1 Model that Gwinnett County can use for evaluation of existing conditions, capacity certification, and as a planning tool for future system expansions and modifications. The Phase 1 Model developed a list of“iffy pipes”that must be field-verified and validated by the Clearinghouse. The County plans to add new GPS verification and a full monitoring program to enhance the quality of the model to a level that allows it to be used for overall system management in the future.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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