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Building a Sustainable Collection System Model

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Urban water utilities throughout the United States face many challenges. One extremely important challenge is how to plan and maintain a wastewater collection system that meets the needs of current and future customers.

Within an area of 635 square kilometers (km) (245 square miles), the city of Aurora, Colorado (city) is one clear example of how a municipal water utility is working to establish sound programs that will aid in the planning, the proactive maintenance, the improvement, and the expansion of their wastewater collection system. Aurora Water's wastewater collection system model is a key element of the city's plan to provide a reliable wastewater collection system to residents.

Recently, Aurora Water developed a quasi-dynamic sewer system model to be used for planning, analyzing operational alternatives, identifying hydraulic limitations, and projecting the need for current and future capital improvements. The model incorporates nearly all of Aurora Water's existing sanitary sewer infrastructure system—comprising 8-inch diameter pipes and larger—and provides Aurora with a variety of sewer system management functions, including sewer system overflow control planning, improved operations, and routine cleaning and maintenance capabilities. It also acts as a geographical information system (GIS) database, enabling Aurora Water to store information on network geometry, flow load projections, and lift station information.

While building a wastewater collection system model of this nature has increased the model's complexity for Aurora Water, it has also enhanced its usefulness, since the model now serves multiple purposes for many more potential users. By integrating the use of the model into Aurora Water's daily planning, operations, and design work, the model has become a sustainable and critically important tool in the city's collection system business practices.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-01-01

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