The Importance of Verified Simulation Model in a Sewerage Rehabilitation Program

by Phil Wildbore, WRc, Huntingdon Valley, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions


In the past as structural, water quality and flooding problems occurred in a sewer system they were dealt with by crisis management. A better approach is now available using the latest technology. Water Research Centre (WRc) has developed a strategy for maintaining sewer systems in a more efficient manner than crisis management allows. The key to this is to consider all of the problems in the system at the same time and to try to retain as much of the existing assets as practical. The cornerstone of the strategy is the building of a sophisticated mathematical model of the sewer system. Once a model of the system is built, its accuracy is checked by a flow survey. The predicted flows are then compared with the observed flows. Where discrepancies exist the reason is sought and the model amended without force fitting. The hydraulic past performances of the system are also checked. Once the verified simulation model is available, upgrading solutions to any problems can be readily assessed. Representative rainfall techniques have been developed to give information on running costs and pollution levels. Expert systems to develop upgrading schemes are also being refined. WRc tested the strategy at 35 pilot studies and subsequently at 70 major catchments. Results have shown typical capital savings of 20-30% over other methods and consistent achievement of operational targets. Models produced during such studies provide a powerful management tool which can be applied to recoup daily savings in running cost.

Subject Headings: Verification | Hydraulic models | Simulation models | Sewers | Rehabilitation | Water shortage | Assets | Model accuracy

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