How good is your model?

Sam Shamsi and Leisha Pica


The science associated with developing, updating, calibrating, and validating collection system models continues to evolve.  Models represent effective tools for simulating the performance of wastewater collection systems.  The models created today are significantly more sophisticated than those generated 10 years ago.  As Utilities are faced with the need to develop large and longer term Consent Decree mandated capital improvement plans (CIPs) that balance affordability with infrastructure needs, it is important to understand when a model is “good enough” for long-term planning and design purposes.

The advances in modeling make it tempting to continue model calibration and validation (C&V) beyond the original intended purpose.  This is particularly true for conceptual planning models.  Engineers tend to be data-centric and strive for a more robust model than necessary for high-level planning.  For this reason, the authors developed the two new tools for the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSDGC) to evaluate its 55,000 node mega Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) model which is one of the largest collection system models in the world. 

  1. Model report card
  2. Model status dashboard

This paper will present the above tools which can also be applied to other models.

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