Improved sewer network systems through rapid modelling and optimisation (2001-2005)

Funding body: EPSRC and Ewan Optimal Solutions Ltd (CASE studentship)

A major challenge to the UK water industry is to improve the performance of sewer systems. Flooding of properties and roads, and excessive spill frequencies are problems that the UK water companies are now required to address. Indeed, the water industry is investing large sums of money to rectify these problems, starting with the creation of Drainage Area Plans. These first define the networks and then identify the problems. The third stage is the development of a catchment strategy or 'optioneering', which involves proposing how the problems can be overcome and at what cost.

This project is concerned with initial phases in the development of a system for obtaining more effective and economic designs from this 'optioneering' stage, using a simplified analytical tool and Genetic Algorithms to explore the vast range of combinations of alternative design actions. The simplified analytical tool, called 'Fastnet', gives an approximate but very rapid model of the network's hydraulic performance. The Genetic Algorithm carries out a search to find the most cost effective combination of storage, pipe upsizing and re-routing based on meeting required hydraulic performance criteria, assessed using Fastnet.


  • Fullerton, J.N., G.A. Walters and D.A. Savic, (2002) Simplified Modelling of Storm Water Flows for Optimisation, in Hydraulic Information Management, Brebbia, C.A. and W.R.Blain (eds), WIT press, Southampton, pp.133-142.
  • Fullerton, J.N., G.A. Walters and D.A. Savic, (2002) Decision sup-port software for optioneering: a feasibility study, International Conference on Sewer Operation and Maintenance, 26 - 28 No-vember 2002, Bradford, UK (accepted for presentation).

Back to Urban drainage system management