Automated Design of Wastewater Plants

by Randal Samstag, (M.ASCE), Project Engr.; Metro, 821 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98104,
Andrew Z. Lester, Pres.; The Lester Group, Seattle, WA,
Frederick C. Thatcher, Pres.; Orcas Network, Seattle, WA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 6, Pg. 54-56

Document Type: Feature article


Computers have been used for individual steps in design of wastewater treatment plants, and now these steps have been tied together, linked by an aggregate computer program the designers named The Design Machine. The project uses existing software: a 1-2-3 spreadsheet, dBASE for storing data, AutoCAD for preparing drawings, and Word for word processing. The Design Machine contains an expert system with two components; the knowledge base is stored in the spreadsheet, and the data can be modified according to set rules and relationships, which are the calculation engine of the expert system. The data thus generated are linked to the files that drive the computer plotter, and with the word processor, a predesign report may be prepared in only a few hours. The system was devised by engineers at Seattle's Metro for upgrading its wastewater treatment plants.

Subject Headings: Automation | Wastewater management | Wastewater treatment plants | Spreadsheets | Expert systems | Aggregates | Knowledge-based systems | Engines

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