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:

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    Simplifying the input of Culvert Inlet Parameters with SQL Prompts in InfoWorks ICM

    The use of the SQL functionality is subject to a large number of blog posts within our blog pages.  This is because they allow the user to avoid repetitive tasks and automate processes.  One of the SQL functionality which is well described is the use of Prompts with the following blog posts providing more details and examples:-

    These allow prompt dialogs to be displayed which prompt for user input as part of the SQL query.  As shown in the latter of the above links, these can be very useful when creating model networks.  One part of building models which can be quite tedious is adding culvert inlets, specifically determining the correct parameters (K,M,c,Y,Ki) for the specific culvert inlet type (as identified in the ‘Culvert Inlets’ help page) from the tables taking from the Culvert Design Manual (1997).  I find myself flicking backwards and forwards between the software and the help page.

    Figure 1: Culvert Inlet Parameters

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      ReFH2 Rainfall and Runoff in InfoWorks ICM/ICMLive

      In 2016, the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and Wallingford HydroSolutions (WHS) released another version of the revitalised rainfall-runoff model (ReFH2) which allows users to generate flood peak flows and hydrographs from given rainfall events for both catchment and development sites.  For a full description of the approaches, the reader is referred to their document which can be freely accessed at:-

      http://files.hydrosolutions.co.uk/refh2/ReFH2_Technical_Report.pdf

      There are 2 components to the ReFH 2 model.  The first is a new runoff volume and routing model, ReFH2, which was added to InfoWorks ICM in version 6.5.  The second component is the FEH 2013 generated design rainfall which was added in version 7.5.  This blog post will go on to describe the implementation of both components within InfoWorks ICM/ICMLive and how users can use these to generate rainfall events and runoff within these software packages.

      The first point to note, is that the equations used to generate FEH2013 rainfall and ReFH2 runoff are proprietary and have not been published publicly.  Therefore, unlike the previous FEH and ReFH approaches, it has not been possible to code these equations directly into the InfoWorks ICM/ICMLive simulation engines.  The user therefore requires a copy of the ReFH2 software with a licence obtained from Wallingford HydroSolutions (WHS).  The ReFH2 software must be available when the FEH2013 rainfall is generated and the relevant calculations are undertaken for determining the parameters for the subcatchments ReFH2 runoff.  However, once the rainfall and runoff parameters have been determined, InfoWorks ICM/ICMLive simulations do not need access to the ReFH2 software and runs can be distributed onto other machines/servers as is desired.

      FEH2013 Rainfall

      Like all rainfall the FEH2013 generated rainfall is created by using a Rainfall Event Editor.  In the list of available rainfall models the appropriate FEH2013 Rainfall generator should be selected.

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        Continuous Simulation: Make Stormwater Assets Great Again

        More than twenty years ago I wrote a Master’s Thesis about software tools that could be put together with EPA SWMM to create a toolbox for very long term continuous simulation for stormwater and watershed simulations.  I was inspired at the time by Dr. William James who was my advisor for that research.  At that time typical stormwater design and modeling (analysis) employed the rational method or a regional design storm approach.  Continuous simulation was not typically used even though we had such computational capabilities for about 20 years.

        Fast forward to today and there is still too much use of the Rational method and design storms.  Perhaps they have their place in sizing a culvert based on conveyance or some onsite detention in the case of a design storm.  However, there is simply too much misuse since these methods ignore the physical processes that are occurring.  It is simply not appropriate to use such a method to design stormwater systems when storage is a significant component of the system or when there is sensitive downstream receiving waters to name just a couple cases.  The rational method produces a peak flow and using that flow value in design ignores the natural attenuation that would occur to storage effects in the system and can even result in under design. Continue reading

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          Analyze your pump performance curve in SCADAWatch with new Pump Efficiency module

          Pump curve in SCADAWatch showing dramatic degradation over time.

          SCADAWatch version 6.3 received a new feature for quickly plotting the performance of a pump along its pump curve.

          This is information is critically valuable to three main groups of people (See more at The Stories your SCADA Data Could Tell You):

          Managers – Save money by scheduling maintenance proactively based on data. Don’t waste energy running inefficient pumps.

          Operators – Check whether your current or past operations are utilizing the peak efficiency point of your system pumps.

          Hydraulic modelers – Update your water model based on current measured performance rather than outdated manufacturer’s curves.

          This post walks you through how to set up a pump efficiency curve, compare it against reference data, and share it among your organization.

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            Tips & Tricks – Easily Finding a Column in a Grid.

            Another short post on a very useful tip & trick, how to find a field in a grid. Some objects have many fields and finding the field in a grid table can be frustrating. A quick way of finding a field can be achieved by right clicking on the field names and choosing ‘Find column…’.

            Find Column...

            Find Column…

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              InfoMaster 8.5: Rehab Actions and Costs Interface

              One of the biggest upgrades to InfoMaster 8.5 is the new and improved interface for Rehab Actions, Methods, and Cost.  The new Rehab Actions and Costs window contains the same functionality as in previous InfoMaster versions, removes some of the confusion of having four separate but related tables, and adds increased flexibility.

              The Rehab Actions and Costs interface can be found in the same place as the previous CapPlan Tables.

              Opening this window reveals the following interface.  The overall look and feel will be identical no matter if the user is opening Rehab Actions and Costs for gravity or pressurized mains, laterals, or manholes.

              The default tab to open up is the Rehab Method/Cost Component tab.  Here users can create and edit Rehab Methods and their associated costs.  In the top-left corner of this tab, users can view, edit, create, bulk import from .csv, and delete from their list of available Rehab Methods.  After selecting a particular Method, users can edit the properties and costs for the selected Method. Continue reading

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                InfoWater Boolean & Partial String DB Queries

                In InfoWater a user can select network components and related data by creating logical query statements through the DB Query feature. A DB query allows the user to extract a set of records using logical statements on a field (or fields) stored within a specific database. Often used database query statements include boolean fields and searching a string in a field.

                How to construct a Boolean DB Query

                A Boolean field is intended to store a value of 1 or 0, where 1 corresponds to the term “Yes” and 0 to the term “No”.

                InfoWater has built in boolean fields for check valves for pipe attributes and ‘allow overflow’ for tank attributes, nevertheless custom

                Boolean fields can be created in the InfoWater information tables for any of the InfoWater feature types:

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                  Using Web Map Services (WMS) in InfoWorks ICM, InfoWorks WS Pro and InfoNet

                  InfoWorks ICM, InfoWorks WS Pro and InfoNet all support the following Map Controls: ArcGIS Engine, ArcGIS Desktop and MapXtreme. The GIS Layer Control Dialog is used to choose how map layers are displayed on the GeoPlan Window. The dialog is displayed by right clicking on the GeoPlan View and choosing GIS Layer control… from the popup menu.

                  As well as supporting the traditional GIS layers associated with ArcGIS and MapInfo, InfoWorks and InfoNet can utilise Map Layers offered up by WMS Servers.  An example would be mapping provided by Open Street Map (www.openstreetmap.org).  This resource provides maps of the world that are free to use under an open licence. Users can connect the GeoPlan view to both remote web servers and LAN servers.

                  To utilise WMS you need to know the URL of the Web Map Server. Many of the publicly available server can be found by searching with Google.  For example, one WMS addresses for Open Street Map is http://ows.terrestris.de/osm/service?.  This will provide a colour map, but if you’d like a black & white version, you could try http://ows.terrestris.de/osm-gray/service? instead.

                  Here are some examples you might like to experiment with that can all be used free of charge as background layers for your model. As many organisations offer WMS as a free service, they do not always guarantee any continued availability, but most organisations do their best to keep them up and running.  Please let me know if you have a favourite WMS resources and I’ll update this blog.

                  Open Street Maps from Terrestris Server
                  URL (colour): http://ows.terrestris.de/osm/service?
                  URL (b/w): http://ows.terrestris.de/osm-gray/service?

                  Open Street Maps from Mundialis Server
                  http://ows.mundialis.de/services/service?

                  Cached OSM-WMS via MapProxy (Uni Heidelberg)
                  URL: http://129.206.228.72/cached/osm?
                  URL: http://129.206.228.72/cached/osm?Request=GetCapabilities

                  Cached HillShade WMS of Europe via MapProxy (Uni Heidelberg):
                  URL: http://129.206.228.72/cached/hillshade?
                  URL: http://129.206.228.72/cached/hillshade?Request=GetCapabilities

                  In some cases you need the “?” at the end of the links, in others not.  These WMS map layers can be combined with the traditional GIS layers associated with ArcGIS and MapInfo that have always been available in the GeoPlan view.

                  Combining MapInfo TAB file and WMS layer from Open Street Map

                  Depending on whether you utilise MapXtreme as the map control for the InfoWorks / InfoNet GeoPlan, or if you work directly with ArcGIS Engine / ArcGIS Desktop in the background, the way you access and apply WMS layers will be slightly different. Continue reading

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                    What’s New in InfoMaster 8.5?

                     8.5

                    To quickly answer the question…A LOT!  We here at Innovyze consider 8.5 a major InfoMaster release and are excited to be delivering it to our clients.  InfoMaster is already revolutionizing the way asset management is done, and we think 8.5 is a major step in the evolution of asset management.

                    To summarize the main additions to 8.5 include: Continue reading

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