Keynote: Advancing EPA’s Stormwater Management Model for the Digital Water Transformation

Caleb Buahin, USEPA, OH, USA


While SWMM has arguably played a pivotal role in pollution control in collection systems since its introduction, traditional applications using the model have been relatively static. They typically involve calibrating and validating SWMM models with data collected and curated for selected historical periods and evaluating model response to design, typical year, or future precipitation/climate projection scenarios. These models are then used to inform the design and sizing of gray and green infrastructure and evaluation of control/mitigation strategies for flooding, combined and sanitary sewer overflows, and water quality impairment events.

In contrast, an emerging smart/intelligent collection systems application paradigm is being envisioned, where a virtual representation of the collection system – digital twin – developed by fusing near realtime data from sensors with models and data/AI driven algorithms is used as an experimental framework for operational wayfinding. Information gleaned from this system can be used to coordinate and optimize the modulation of controllable assets (e.g., actuatable gates, weirs, pumps, etc.) autonomously or with a human-in-the loop towards achieving short- and long-term control/operational objectives. SWMM can serve as the basis for this framework and is indeed being used in many cases for developing these digital twins. In this presentation, I will explore advancements we are implementing and those being considered for future implementation to support this application area for the consideration and discussion from the modeling community at this conference.

With these advancements, we hope to lower the threshold for entry for the small to medium sized collection system utilities that are embarking on their digital transformation journeys.

 Click here to download a static PDF version of the presentation.

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