Flow measurements in sewers based on image analysis: automatic flow velocity algorithm

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Discharges of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and stormwater are recognized as an important source of environmental contamination. However, the harsh sewer environment and particular hydraulic conditions during rain events reduce the reliability of traditional flow measurement probes. An in situ system for sewer water flow monitoring based on video images was evaluated. Algorithms to determine water velocities were developed based on image-processing techniques. The image-based water velocity algorithm identifies surface features and measures their positions with respect to real world coordinates. A web-based user interface and a three-tier system architecture enable remote configuration of the cameras and the image-processing algorithms in order to calculate automatically flow velocity on-line. Results of investigations conducted in a CSO are presented. The system was found to measure reliably water velocities, thereby providing the means to understand particular hydraulic behaviors.

Keywords: combined sewer overflow, flow measurement, homography, image processing, video monitoring, water level measurement

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