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Image cover: Real-Time Control of Urban Drainage Networks
Real-Time Control of Urban Drainage Networks (PDF) (96 pp, 2.82 MB) (EPA/600/R-06/120) September 2006

Real-time control (RTC) is a custom-designed, computer-assisted management technology for a specific sewerage network to meet the operational objectives of its collection and conveyance system. RTC can operate in several modes, including one that is activated during a wet-weather flow event to control local flooding and sewage releases.

RTC of conveyance systems has been emerging as an attractive and cost-effective approach that can be used in addition to (or in lieu of) more traditional construction-focused alternatives, such as sewer separation or construction of storage facilities. Although there are still relatively few documented applications of RTC to large urban sewerage systems, the technology has been successfully implemented.

RTC implementation includes these components:

  • Hydraulics
  • Instrumentation
  • Remote monitoring
  • Process control
  • Software development
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Organizational issues
  • Forecasting of rainfall or flows

The report includes a summary and a broad introduction to these components and does not provide great detail. However, a guide is included on RTC technology to facilitate its understanding and acceptance by the user community. The primary audience is the practicing engineer, in a municipality or in a consulting firm, who has had limited exposure to RTC. The report serves as a resource document for use by federal and state program officials and regulators, researchers, and the public.

There is no simple way to achieve successful RTC implementation. The report provides guidance for the methodology to be used in the design, development, and implementation of RTC systems, but it does not identify or recommend a single solution that will fit any municipality or any set of operational issues.


Mary Stinson

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