Medieval Spanish town receives state-of-the-art network upgrade


Courtesy of Innovyze

Spanish consultant engineering company Aqua-Consult Ingenieros, part of national multi-utility Mejoras Energeticas, has used InfoWorks CS and WS to enable it to complete a critical project in Cantabria on Spain’s north coast. The work will establish a sewer and potable water network master plan on behalf of the Council of the town of Castro-Urdiales, near to Santander.

Castro-Urdiales dates back to Roman times, but is now mainly known as a harbor and fishing port as well as a popular tourist destination. The modern town, famous for its wooden balconies and Gothic church of Santa Maria, is medieval in origin and has been recognized by the Spanish Government as a place of historical interest.

The Council let the contract, which began in September 2004 and finished earlier this year, because of problems it was encountering with both the potable and wastewater networks. Collector sewers needed to be built to ensure that the network functioned correctly, and on the potable water side population increases had caused service delivery challenges, so new pumps and holding tanks had been designed but optimum placement was a key issue.

Another important goal was to improve management of the network, for which the Council wanted to divide its underground assets into zones by using valves to separate off one area of demand from the next.

The project involved studying the functioning of both networks, locating the problems and their causes. Future urban developments were also included within the plan and proposals had to be put forward to resolve any problems that were discovered. The requirement was a network master plan that ensured provision of services to the future users.

The two InfoWorks software solutions were used to help Aqua-Consult define improvement proposals. The 50km potable water network model contained 500 nodes, and the 55km sewer network 550 nodes. Data sources for the models included AutoCAD maps, and an Access database. The GIS system utilized was MapInfo.

Project engineer Roberto Gómez says: ‘InfoWorks CS and WS were chosen because they have some very useful functions - they integrate with GIS solutions extremely well, enabling us to see the real background map with the real dimensions. They also allow simulation of individual objects such as pumps, weirs and detention tanks.’

The modeling exercise enabled Aqua-Consult to validate its proposals and draw up a timetable for the works that needed to be undertaken to complete the master plan.

Wallingford Software’s Eduardo Martinez says: ‘The need for good water management here in Spain is becoming a must. Spain is receiving less and less rainfall, and the need for water is increasing as the population increases and, alongside this, the per capita water consumption. InfoWorks is the ideal tool to deal with these water issues, facilitating the design of new networks and the optimization of existing ones.

‘Spain is slowly becoming aware of the challenges it faces - more and more cities are starting to look at their old potable water and sewerage networks, and trying to improve their performance. Cities including Alicante, Almería and Valencia have already modeled their networks using InfoWorks, enabling tremendous improvements and cost savings.’

He adds: ‘InfoWorks also facilitates the work of the engineers, giving them more time to spend studying the behavior of their networks and potential solutions, rather than on building a model - InfoWorks has a vast range of tools that practically builds the model for you.’

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