Nov 04, 2009

City of Phoenix Acquires Bentley’s SewerGEMS

System aims to improve efficiency of daily operations

The City of Phoenix has acquired Bentley’s SewerGEMS multi-platform software for sanitary sewer systems to help analyze, design and operate its extensive wastewater infrastructure. The infrastructure serves approximately 1.5 million residents and includes about 5,000 miles of sewer mains and 92,000 sewer manholes. Through their use of SewerGEMS, engineers with the city’s water services department will be able to create a wastewater model that aims to facilitate flexible master planning, rehabilitation sequencing, development capacity allocation and sanitary sewer overflow warnings, while aiming to improve the efficiency of daily operations.

Over the last few years, the water department’s wastewater planning efforts have been moving away from a “predict and plan” approach to the more proactive practice of “anticipate and prepare.” The problem is, predictions of future growth areas and likely growth rates, changing weather patterns, water appliance efficiencies and customer behavior are highly unreliable, offering little insight into conditions for which the water department must prepare, according to Bentley.

“By developing and analyzing our wastewater model with SewerGEMS’ built-in hydraulic and hydrology tools, wet weather calibration methods, Scenario Control Center and many other capabilities, we will be able to explore a broad range of possible future factors and develop a plan to prepare for each,” said Erich Lais, City of Phoenix civil engineer. “As a result, we will be better able to adapt to changing conditions and consequent wastewater system requirements, enabling us to continue to meet our customers’ needs.”

The City of Phoenix acquired SewerGEMS to complement the WaterGEMS license it acquired in 2007 to model and analyze its water distribution system. Because SewerGEMS includes the same model management tools and has a user interface very similar to that of WaterGEMS, it will be easy for the city’s project teams to use this new software, Bentley said.