DHI Water & Environment

Boston Water & Sewer Commission Uses MIKE URBAN for Improving Collection System Infrastructure


Source: DHI Water & Environment

The Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) was created to maintain and improve the long-term quality and reliability of water and sewer services in the City of Boston. Today, BWSC’s primary goals are cost control, efficient delivery of service and environmental protection.

BWSC owns and operates a system for the collection and transport of wastewater and storm drainage in the City of Boston. The sewer system is comprised of approximately 1,450 linear miles of sewers and storm drains, including 600 miles of sanitary sewers, 550 miles of storm drains and 300 miles of combined sewers. Other facilities include eight pumping stations, two gatehouses, 40 permitted combined sewer overflow outlets (CSOs), 185 regulators and 200 tide gates.

BWSC currently has an agreement with the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA), which has a court order decree, to eliminate or substantially close combined sewer overflows. As a result, sewer separations will be performed in Dorchester, the Stony Brook area of Jamaica Plain, the Constitution Beach area of East Boston, and the Fort Point Channel of South Boston. These projects include the installation of approximately 200,000 feet of new drain pipe, the replacement of old water pipe and defective sewer pipe, and will substantially decrease the amount of combined sewer overflows into the Charles River, Neponset River and Boston Harbor. The work will greatly reduce the amount of drainage entering BWSC’s sewer system, reducing payments to the MWRA and saving rate-payers money.

In preparation for this work the BWSC has invested in a significant upgrade of their GIS systems in order to prepare a system wide collection systems model. The model will be used to evaluate and improve the operation of the collection system to minimize combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and minimize stormwater flooding. The model will also act as a design tool for planning improvements. Prior to building the model, BWCS consulted with CDM to conduct an extensive review of available software products and modeling codes, and as a result of this process they selected the MIKE URBAN system (running SWMM5) as the most suitable solution for this project. CDM has been working with the Commission since 2001 to prepare the data for the modeling project, and is now developing the system model. Mitch Heineman, CDM's modeling task leader, states 'The software tool selected for this project needed to be able to easily incorporate the GIS inventory as well as handling fully-dynamic flow conditions. MIKE URBAN's customizable data bridges provided us with the ability to easily import the native ArcGIS data, and the familiar GIS tools allowed us to easily manipulate, visualize and process the data once it was inside the MIKE URBAN modeling environment. MIKE URBAN also provides us with the capability to run the simulations using the SWMM5 computational engine. We have successfully benchmarked the model results against existing models in the vicinity of the study area, and we are now beginning the full-scale implementation of the model.'

For more information on this project, or to see how MIKE URBAN can help you to meet your collection system modeling needs, please contact Patrick Delaney, Vice President, DHI Water & Environment, Inc. (pad@dhi.us).

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