Sewer Modeling

Throughout its 80 plus years of operation, Jones & Henry has assisted numerous communities in evaluating the capacity of their sewer collection system and proposing solutions

With the increasing power of the personal computer and significant improvement and ease of use of modeling software, many communities are discovering that it is increasingly easier to obtain a clear understanding of their collection system with the use of a computer model. A mathematical model of the collection system will help the utility to study the system in ways that would not be practical, or even possible, by other means.

Overloaded pipes can create a myriad of problems. Sewer backups and overflows present some of the more severe problems attributed to overloaded pipes. The causes are oftentimes extremely complex in nature and therefore difficult to both understand and resolve.

A system model provides the means to view flow levels, velocities, and surcharge conditions in many areas of the sewer network all at the same time. By making changes to the computerized model, “what if” scenarios are developed to simulate proposed system modifications prior to construction. In addition to determining the impact to the immediate area, these simulations allow for the evaluation of downstream impacts to determine the best holistic design solution.

Most commercial sewer modeling software are based on the EPA SWMM model, which is perhaps the best known and most used software for developing storm and sewer models.

These softwares now have graphical user interfaces that allow ease of data input and extraction. Likewise, data output can also be accomplished by means of both tabular and graphical output.

Uses of a Sewer Model

Practical uses of a sewer model include:

  • Assess the collection system’s capacity under various flow scenarios.
  • Assess capacity related issues, such as overflows, bypasses, basement backups, street flooding, hydraulic overload at the treatment plant, etc.
  • Determining how system expansion might affect overall operation.
  • Examining effects before and after rehabilitation.
  • Optimizing Operation, Maintenance, and Rehabilitation of Sanitary Sewer Collection Systems


Ways in Which Jones & Henry Can Assist You

Jones & Henry has developed numerous collection system models to assist communities in the evaluation of their sewer systems, troubleshooting existing problems, proposing improvements, and developing a prioritized list of improvement with their associated costs. Related activities include:

  • Model development
  • Flow monitoring for model calibration and I/I assessment.
  • Development of a program for system improvement.
  • Training owner employees in the use of the modeling software

Jones & Henry
Engineers, Ltd.