Modeling Software Helps Utah Water District Plan for Olympics

Jan. 7, 2002
Products in Action

The 2002 Winter Olympic Games will result in an unusually large influx of visitors to the ski resort community of Park City, Utah. Although it frequently hosts many special events, such as world cup ski racing and the Sundance Film Festival, Park City expects the Olympic sporting events to attract up to 50,000 people for 17 days in February. This modeling software helped them plan for it.

This large influx of visitors and the resulting rise in the consumption of food and beverages will dramatically increase the need for restroom facilities, making the safe and effective collection and treatment of wastewater an essential planning element for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

In cooperation with the Salt Lake Olympic Committee (SLOC) and other state and local agencies, the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District (SBWRD) recently used Haestad Methods’ SewerCAD® software — integrated with their extensive GIS database — to plan for the impact of the substantial Olympic event on Park City’s wastewater collection and treatment systems.

The SBWRD generally serves a permanent population of about 27,000 people over 95 square miles, including the Park City community. It operates and maintains over 200 miles of sewer line and two treatment plants with a combined capacity of 4.8 million gallons per day. Because Park City is frequently host to special events, the collection system was designed with short-term influxes of people in mind.

During the Olympic events, visitor and spectator counts will shift both spatially and temporally, complicating the wastewater collection process. Based on SLOC schedules and estimated spectator counts, a schedule of flow partitions between parallel trunk lines was developed within SewerCAD. The model allowed the utility to predict system behavior and devise a schedule for effectively collecting and treating wastewater from event and gathering areas while minimizing adverse impacts to the system, ensuring public health, and protecting the environment.

An additional area of concern is the accommodation of temporary restrooms. Expected to generate approximately 2,100 gallons of wastewater per hour, restroom trailers will be placed at gathering points throughout the district. The number and location of these facilities must be optimized while simultaneously ensuring the wastewater collection system capacity is not exceeded. Taking an integrated approach to solving this problem, SBWRD used SewerCAD for flow modeling and ArcView GIS for mapping and location analysis.

SewerCAD was selected as SBWRD’s optimal modeling solution because of its support for computing and managing numerous scenarios, as well as its capability to link directly with their GIS database, thus ensuring data in both systems can be easily updated. “SewerCAD provided us with the flexibility to model analyze and compare numerous scenarios without extensive model rebuilding,” said Gary Tackman, GIS coordinator for Park City, Utah.

 “The database synchronization feature of SewerCAD allowed us to easily link with our extensive GIS database,” Tackman continued. “We were able to link the pipes and manholes, including the connectivity (topology) we built in the GIS, as well as other attribute information. After running the model in SewerCAD we were able to update our GIS database directly.”

Preparations for the Olympics now are complete, with all Olympic sites now open to the public. Visitors are already exploring the Olympic bobsled and luge run and cheering as the US Ski Team practices aerials and Nordic jumping at the Olympic Sports Park.

Park City is located 32 miles east of Salt Lake City on the back of the Unitah Mountains in Utah’s Summit County. The 2002 Olympic Winter Games sporting events planned for the Park City area include bobsleigh, luge, skeleton, ski jumping and Nordic combined events at the Utah Olympic Park; giant slalom, snowboard giant slalom and halfpipe at Park City Mountain Resort; slalom, freestyle moguls and aerials at Deer Valley Resort.

The Utah Olympic Park is available to the public for bobsled and ice rocket rides, and Nordic ski jumping lessons in the winter.

Park City has more than 7,000 year-round residents, is the home of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the Sundance Film Festival, and boasts being Utah’s only destination ski town.

Founded by prospectors in the late 1860s, Park City’s colorful mining past is still apparent in the buildings lining historic Main Street. Today, however, the buildings house dozens of nightclubs, fine restaurants, unique boutiques, shops and art galleries. The summer season also is busy — filled with festivals, events, shopping, dining, outdoor recreation and cultural arts.

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