The Future of Wastewater Management Planning

As capacity requirements change and grow, it is essential to have agility when modeling system expansions and their potential impacts on current collections assets. How can wastewater management systems be modeled to address all current and future hydraulic capacity needs? Innovyze’s InfoSewer and InfoSWMM can help users keep track of current collection system performance and model expansions. Users can build an accurate digital representation of collections assets to ensure system longevity and smart allocation of capital resources. The result? A Sewer Master Plan that is complete, can confidently model for future conditions and growth, and can lead to lower costs and better residential rate affordability.

How Mature is your Wastewater Management Plan?

At Innovyze, we believe that collections asset models can operate at the following stages:

When developing a sanitary sewer Master Plan, it’s important to consider the current state of your collections system’s “digital twin” and your capabilities for growth. We asked attendees of our recent Webinar: Creating a Dynamic Sewer Master Plan for Today and the Future  at what stage they considered their current Sewer Master Plan. Majority of respondents answered that they were only at the stage of data collection, a Corrective model. Additionally, we asked attendees to rate the maturity of their current sewer management plans and models. Respondents answered as follows:

wastewater management sewer plan responses

As demonstrated above, many people are operating with modeling capabilities that are out of date, or simply not sufficient enough to provide Predictive or Adaptive models.

A Corrective or Preventative digital model may rely on basic capabilities such as those made available by open-source software such as EPASWMM or GIS-only applications. These platforms can be quite useful in performing elemental analyses and model simulations. However, they leave engineers to make assumptions about system deficiencies and the adverse impact of extraneous inflow + infiltration on the sewer management system. These software programs also generally do not have links to other analysis such as financial and asset management systems that would be required for a high-maturity digital model.

In order to produce a Master Plan that can address all current deficiencies and confidently model high-integrity system expansions, a more cutting-edge model is necessary. This can empower planners to address extraneous scenarios before they become problematic. In addition, it enables municipalities to develop Capital Improvement Programs (CIPs) that are more certain in terms of budget allocation and can improve residential rate affordability.

The Benefits of a Mature Digital Model for Wastewater Management and Planning

An advanced digital representation, or twin, of physical system assets can help utilities move from a Corrective maturity stage to one that is Predictive and ultimately, Adaptive. The benefits of operating in this framework are extensive and can have wide-ranging positive impacts on municipal capital allocation, ecological health and residential affordability.

Take for example the city of Sherwood, Oregon’s Sanitary Sewer Master Plan created in September of 2016 in partnership with a consultant who utilized Innovyze’s InfoSWMM. By using InfoSWMM to build a mature digital model, they could conduct thorough projections into how system wastewater flow would be affected by population growth. Furthermore, the model was used to estimate peak wastewater flow for all areas in the collections system by combining flow components such as dry weather flow (DWF), groundwater infiltration (GWI), and wet weather flow (WWF).

wastewater management water flow example

The insights provided by this dynamic capacity and condition improvement analysis was used to create a CIP that cut estimated total costs by more than half over the course of a 20- year period.

How Can You Get There?

In terms of execution, the first step often begins with an assessment of existing asset conditions. Usually this comes from the previous Master Plans, research reports, or by compiling data elements collected from GIS. Innovyze solutions help users build this foundation, and take it one step further by letting engineers operate without the guesswork that comes from less mature digital modeling programs.

Two such products, InfoSewer and InfoSWMM, make it easier to exceed sewer management goals laid out in Sewer Master Plans. Users can determine the current physical condition of the network, solve problem areas, meet regulations and conduct extensive growth planning. With Innovyze Sewer Modeling solutions, engineers move beyond the uncertainty that is inherent to working with a more elementary digital model and can more easily produce Capacity Management Operations and Management (CMOM) plans that are innovative, physically descriptive models.

InfoSewer beats the competition with fast hydraulic and dynamic water quality computations such as steady-state analysis using various peaking factors and automated system design. It’s H2S Detector also allows users to readily model and analyze sewer collection systems for sulfide generation and corrosion potential throughout the life of their systems. InfoSewer is best used for applications including: Master Planning, CMOM Program Planning, Facility Sizing, Wet-Well design, Facility Management and many more.

With InfoSWMM, engineers and GIS professionals can leverage an extension to ArcMap. This allows team members to work in a coordinated way, making the most of their GIS skills and the asset database already in GIS. InfoSWMM can be effectively used to model both dry-weather and wet-weather flows to determine the most reliable and cost-effective method of sewer system management. Engineers can utilize InfoSWMM to model the entire land phase of the hydrologic cycle for urban stormwater and wastewater collection systems.

As a leader in smartwater management, Innovyze software solutions can help engineers improve workflow efficiency and elevate the quality of work being produced. InfoSewer, InfoSWMM, and InfoMaster can help collections system planners operate with a more advanced and Predictive digital twin. As such, this empowers municipalities who use Innovyze solutions to save money and make smarter capital allocations by having access to more robust analyses.

However, these benefits are not unique to solely users of Innovyze solutions. Communities can enjoy better water quality and less pollution in public bodies of water. Looking one step further, rate payers may actually save money as improved efficiencies lead to less costs being passed on to consumers. The result is a holistically healthier collections system with economic, social, and profound ecological benefits. In other words, a truly sustainable system.


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