DeKalb County in Georgia has embarked on a major modeling initiative, purchasing Wallingford Software’s water supply and distribution network modeling solution InfoWorks WS, urban drainage network modeling solution InfoWorks CS and asset management solution InfoNet.
Senior Engineer, Nadine Maghsoudlou says: “We have separated the County into 35 sub-basins and as we collect data we want to put it into InfoNet and do the modeling simultaneously.”
Purchasing the companion solutions – the County’s first venture into water and wastewater modeling and data management – was seen as common sense because, as Ms Maghsoudlou says: “If you know how one works you can work with the others. That’s the logic.”
The DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management has responsibility for an estimated 5,000 miles of pipe in its distribution system and operates and maintains a number of major facilities including the new Scott Candler Filter Plant, Pole Bridge Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Snapfinger Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant and DeKalb County Raw Water Pumping Station.
The source for the county’s drinking water is the Chattahoochee River. The raw water pumping station, which is permitted to abstract a maximum of 140MGD from the river, is sited in north Fulton County, north of the city of Atlanta.
The Department is currently building a countywide water and sanitary sewer GIS system as a tool for updating, mapping, and analyzing its water distribution and sewer collection networks.
The department has a number of projects underway that stand to benefit considerably from the purchase of the new solutions, and which made their purchase a timely decision. The County’s Watershed Management GIS is a computer-based system used for geographic data creation, maintenance, storage, analysis and mapping, which is being implemented by the GIS/GPS/Data Management Department.
The Water System Mapping Project is playing a vital role in maintaining the infrastructure of DeKalb County. The GPS/GIS/Data Management Department is undertaking a process of locating, verifying and surveying all of the water mains, valves, hydrants, meters, pump stations, tanks and other infrastructure to create a comprehensive water system map whose features are accurate to the nearest centimeter.
The water system map is essential for planning future development as well as a valuable resource when natural disaster or other emergencies arise. The map replaces 65 years of paper records and as-built drawings that are difficult to maintain and analyze.
The map is built up with water modeling nodes in place to allow easy integration into the InfoWorks WS modeling solution so DeKalb County can continue to deliver safe, clean drinking water.
The Sanitary Sewer System Mapping project also plays a key role in maintaining the DeKalb County infrastructure. Similarly to the water mapping project, this involves field location, verification and surveys of the sanitary sewer manholes, cleanouts, lift stations and supplementary infrastructure to create a highly-accurate and comprehensive sanitary sewer system map, again with features mapped to the nearest centimeter.
Likewise, the sanitary sewer system map is essential for planning future development and is a valuable resource when natural disaster or other emergencies arise. It also replaces 65 years of paper records and as-built drawings.
The sanitary sewer system map is also built with modeling nodes in place. This allows easy integration into the InfoWorks CS wastewater system modeling solution, so DeKalb County can handle its wastewater in an environmentally conscious and effective way.
The highly flexible InfoNet solution will collate, analyze and verify data from the various parent sources so that it can be confidently used for modeling. The solution has a useful function to insert data that the user does not hold, either by inference or by adding in survey data. InfoNet links easily into corporate GIS systems, providing a common format for transferring data to and from the GIS and to and from the modeling solutions as required.
The decision on which solution to use was made towards the end of 2006 by DeKalb County’s Board of Commissioners, who looked carefully at a number of leading providers before choosing the InfoWorks CS, WS and InfoNet solutions.
Sewer system data is being gathered by contractors, with the water data collected in-house, according to Ms. Maghsoudlou. “We are hoping to run different scenarios, such as different rain scenarios, and when new developments want to attach to the systems we can find out if we have any capacity problems. We will also be able to identify any leaks and bottlenecks and correct problems before they happen. We are happy to take full advantage of everything InfoWorks and InfoNet have to offer.”