Is it possible to develop a simple, yet powerful storm and sanitary drainage information management system that integrates asset information, topography, land use, climate, and drainage analysis tools into a simple system to identify system performance for use in new growth and intensification planning and for system operation and maintenance improvements?

Municipal and watershed drainage system management in the past relied on rough topographic mapping, approximated asset information, lumped models, and minimal use of cross-department information. This approach was used to assess the condition and performance of existing drainage systems and to make decisions for system improvements through infrastructure maintenance, repairs, or expansion. The documents prepared as part of the Master Planning process are typically passive tools used once for planning growth and asset planning. More detailed, site-specific studies where often required to refine the studies to pinpoint local impacts and for design purposes.

With the advent of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), powerful computers, public-domain computational engines, rapid and accurate survey methods, inexpensive flow and environmental monitoring and new methods that integrate these, the possibility of developing ‘live’, detailed systems that manage the information through constantly updated data flows, dash-boards, and accessible systems may now be possible. The key is whether it is possible to establish as a management system that integrates various data sources such as drainage asset data (GIS data containing sewers, catchbasins, manholes, leads, SWM, etc.), drainage condition assessment data (surveys, DEM, design, CCTV), flow monitoring data (flow, rain, etc.), previous reported flooding locations, etc. for improving system operation and maintenance and managing growth.

The key to improvement is leveraging powerful new tools and methods into simple systems that integrate detailed and accurate data for analysis to best inform managers and users on system performance identifying operational needs and raise level of services and service new growth in greenfield and/or development intensification areas. New innovative techniques and powerful systems can integrate and manage data from various sources prior to detailed analysis to produce city-wide or watershed-wide information to help managers know and improve drainage systems. Detailed and rapidly collected data can be leveraged using simple and powerful methods to produce accurate information regarding system capacity, capacity constraints, and asset conditions to plan system improvements.

We are aiming at creating a new software package that has following features.

  1. The software system would integrate current geographic and asset information, reports, drawings, real-time and historic monitored flow data, climate data, GIS, asset management information, and drainage analysis tools to develop a municipal-wide drainage management system to help city managers, technical managers, and operations staff drainage patterns, evaluate system capacity, capacity constraint locations
  1. Automated methods for creating drainage system models (Micro Drainage)
  1. Surface flow analysis:
    1. Flow path
    2. Street sags
    3. Diversions
  1. Sewer/culvert asset integration
  1. New uses for rain data for drainage analysis
  1. Corrections to digital elevation model data using low-cost, rapid, land-based, LiDAR surveys for surface drainage analysis.