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Don't Let Your Model Sit on a Shelf: Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Model?

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Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky (SD1) recently updated and recalibrated their hydraulic model as part of the development of their Watershed Plans as required by their consent decree. Included in this was a calibration and verification effort based on year long system-wide flow monitoring utilizing over 250 flow meters. The goal of the update and recalibration was to develop a model that incorporated the impacts of groundwater and antecedent moisture and could be run in continuous simulation to support the Watershed Plans and future capital improvements.

Having invested a significant amount of time and money to produce a detailed model, SD1 worked to identify how this tool could be used beyond long-term planning and in support of day to day operations and decision making. SD1 developed a plan to keep their model updated and identified several tasks that could be used to support the day to day usage:

Update the model quarterly with new projects (both sewer projects and new development capacity requests), pump curves, and system operation

Utilize field inspections to verify the accuracy of the model predictions

Incorporate ongoing flow monitoring and SSES programs into the model

Develop programs to train staff on model usage

By keeping the hydraulic model updated, SD1 is able to more effectively utilize their model on a regular basis and is more flexible in terms of applying the model for making informed decisions with regards to their collection system and their field investigation and SSO cleanup. By identifying these efforts to keep the model updated and subsequently, the tasks that are conducted by the staff on an ongoing basis, SD1 has upgraded their model from a planning level tool to a significant software tool available to the staff for analysis.
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Keywords: Hydraulic models; O&M optimization; green infrastructure; model update; staff training

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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