Productivity Gains in Stormwater Design

An excerpt from “What’s Hot in Modeling Software” in Stormwater Magazine, April 2017

For some engineering consultants, traditional stormwater pond design can be one of the most frequent projects within their services portfolio. An engineer with prior experience can size and produce plans with assistance from modeling software, AutoCAD, and supporting tools with relative ease. But even very routine projects can benefit from modeling software improvements. McBade Engineers and Consultants, based in Youngsville, LA, recently deployed XPDRAINAGE 2017 and have already experienced remarkable improvements in project efficiency.

This latest project involved designing the right stormwater pond for a subdivision to avoid stormwater flooding,” says Lucas Hudspeth, an engineering intern III at McBade. “We wanted to see how an active stormwater event runs in the model, checking if there are any unanticipated overflows or shortages and making sure the pond and its outlets are sized correctly.”

Hudspeth has found that XPDRAINAGE 2017 is very user friendly and designed intuitively, including the interface. His prior experience with US Army Corps of Engineers’ HEC-RAS and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s HYDR drainage programs provided him basic initial familiarity with XPDRAINAGE 2017, although this was his first experience using new software.

“It’s easier to navigate on XPDRAINAGE than on other programs,” says Hudspeth. “When putting in elevations, pipe sizes, lengths of pipe, and so on, it’s all in a chart. It’s easy to follow and you don’t have to hunt around for the information.”

The XPDRAINAGE 2017 interface employs standard ribbon and toolbox options organized around a typical workflow involved in designing stormwater facilities. As the user inputs information and completes actions, the interface responds accordingly and adapts its options, helping guide the user through the process. XPDRAINAGE 2017 also seamlessly integrates with AutoCAD, making import and export of layout and facility details efficient and eliminating possible errors caused by manually transferring data between applications.

The large profile and plan views within the user interface facilitate visualization of design input, depicting spatial and connection properties of the proposed facilities. “Design is definitely easier on XPDRAINAGE, and it’s more foolproof,” says Hudspeth. “If there is a mistake, it’s easier to spot. It’s also easier to check the design information if you’re a senior engineer, making sure everything is fluid and running correctly.”

This can be especially helpful when designing linked stormwater facilities. For this purpose, XPDRAINAGE 2017 incorporates a treatment train approach to properly account for downstream water levels and their potential effects at each individual control.

Hudspeth has been very pleased with the new program and looks forward to employing it on future projects. “It’s a very capable and excellent drainage modeling program and a big time-saver for subdivision or residential developments. If there are stringent drainage requirements, it’s a lifesaver.”


You can read the complete article in Stormwater Magazine HERE.

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