Operational implementation of collection system controls based on SWMM modeling for the City of Columbus, Ohio

Afaf Musa, Derek Wride and Ed Heyob, CDM Smith, Columbus, OH, USA and Rob Herr and Fang Cheng, City of Columbus, Columbus, OH, USA


The City of Columbus, Ohio formed a Real-Time Control (RTC) team that crosses typical boundaries and includes operations, modeling, and instrumentation and controls engineers to find a collection system operational strategy that will help reduce system overflows, maximize treatment, and utilize in-system storage capacity. A key result of this effort is constructing modeling rules using the City’s SWMM model to be directly relatable to the operational methods and control system programming. This presentation provides two cases where modeling results from the RTC initiative led to implementation of control strategies at the Whittier Street Storm Tanks (WSST) Emergency Bypass Gates to help protect the construction of a deep tunnel shaft and at the WSST Regulator Gates to help reduce overflows at a nearby SSO.  The presentation highlights the close relationship between modeling and systems operations.

Case Study 1: WSST Emergency Bypass Gates Operation

The City of Columbus utilized their SWMM model to evaluate causes of flooding that occurred at a drop shaft that is under construction as part of the City’s 20-ft diameter, 170-ft deep tunnel and resulted in an operational change of the Whittier Street Storm Regulator gates downstream.  This helped provide protection of workers and equipment in and at the drop shaft site. 

Case Study 2: DSR83 Weir Raising

The City of Columbus utilized their SWMM model to help evaluate the potential sewer surcharging results of raising the overflow weir elevation of one of the City’s largest SSO sites.  This was a key component of the task to raise the SSO overflow elevation which is enabling the City to reduce the volume of overflow and increase the volume treated. 

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