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Haestad Methods
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System Components, Models,
and the Design Process
Stormwater is managed with a network of structures designed to collect, convey,
detain, treat, and discharge runoff. Examples of these structures are storm sewer con-
duits, culverts, drainage ditches, and detention ponds. Generally, these structures act
in a passive mode, relying on the force of gravity to move water. Occasionally, how-
ever, stormwater is actively managed with devices such as pumps, gates, or valves.
In this book, models are defined as representations of the physical behavior of hydro-
logic and/or hydraulic systems. They may be physical, electric-analog, or mathemati-
cal in nature. Mathematical models are based on the laws of physics and typically
apply the principles of conservation of mass, energy, or momentum. Computer mod-
els (such as those on the CD-ROM accompanying this book) are collections of
automated mathematical models.
Models are used to predict how stormwater structures will perform. The basic
elements that must be considered when modeling stormwater management systems
are hydrology (specifically, watershed response to storms), hydraulic capacities of the
system structures, and upstream and downstream impacts (such as the effect of tailwa-
ter elevation on storm sewer system hydraulics or the effect of a storm sewer system
on downstream discharges).
Engineers use models in the design process to simulate the performance of a
stormwater collection and conveyance system under a range of flows and conditions.
The tradeoffs between size and performance can then be evaluated. Hydraulic
performance in terms of resulting flows, headwater elevations, exit velocities, and so
forth is the primary focus of this text. Other factors that must be considered in
selecting system components are construction cost, structural loads, maintenance
requirements, aesthetics, seepage flow (from or into the groundwater), and biological
habitat. The final design is based on compliance with regulations, standards, and,
ultimately, the professional judgment of the engineer.
18 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Sections 2.1 and 2.2 of this chapter describe stormwater conveyance system compo-
nents and modeling approaches for the purpose of assisting those new or inexperi-
enced in the field of stormwater management in getting a brief overview of basic
concepts, common terminology, and analysis methods. They also serve as a road
map for the book by directing the reader where to find further information on various
topics. The stages of the design process, including master planning, preliminary
design, and detailed design, are presented in Section 2.3. Section 2.4 provides a brief
discussion of the integration of computerized stormwater models with CAD and GIS.
The chapter concludes with an overview of model input data sources in Section 2.5.
2.1 Hydrologic Components
Hydrology is the study of the properties, distribution, and effects of water as it cycles
through the earths surface, subsurface, and atmosphere. This book is concerned with
hydrology in terms of loading stormwater management systems. Coverage of the
topic is therefore limited to quantifying precipitation and runoff for that purpose.
This section briefly describes the modeling of rainfall and runoff. These topics are
covered in detail in Chapters 4 and 5.
To design or evaluate a storm sewer system, the engineer must determine the recur-
rence frequency of the storm event(s) that the system should be designed to handle.
These events, also called design storms, will typically be dictated by local practice or
regulations. In other instances, it may be up to the engineer to determine what storm
events should be used given the type of project, its impact on the surrounding area,
and the consequences of system failure.
Rainfall intensity varies with time over the course of a storm event. Design storms are
frequently computed by applying a total storm rainfall depth to a synthetic rainfall
distribution (see Section 4.5, page 91). Rainfall distributions may also be developed
from actual precipitation records for an area. Evaluation of multiple storm events for a
single design is often desirable, especially if stormwater will be detained or pumped.
Once the design storms are selected and developed, rainfall data can be combined
with drainage basin characteristics to determine runoff volumes and discharges.
Runoff or rainfall excess is the portion of the rainfall that is not lost to interception,
evapotranspiration, or infiltration (see Section 5.1, page 108). It runs off over the
ground surface and into streams, ditches, and other stormwater management struc-
tures. Thus, runoff is the hydrologic component of primary interest in stormwater
conveyance modeling.
The methods and models available for computing runoff are numerous. They range
from simple peak discharge calculations for sizing pipes to more complex hydrograph
Section 2.2 Hydraulic Components 19
methods that account for total runoff volume and the change in discharge over time.
Therational method is an example of the former; the unit hydrograph method is an
example of the latter. Methods for computing runoff from snowmelt, which may be a
consideration in some cases, are also available.
Spreadsheets can assist in runoff hydrograph calculation, and many computer pro-
grams for automating the calculations are also available. Computer programs such as
HEC-HMS and PondPack (Haestad, 2003a) offer several models from which the user
can choose.
2.2 Hydraulic Components
Many types of structures are used in stormwater management systems. A conveyance
structure may be as simple as an earthen ditch or as complex as an extensive system of
inlets and subsurface piping that delivers water to a storage facility from which it is
pumped to a treatment plant or receiving stream.
The subsections that follow describe some of the basic properties of open channels,
culverts, storm sewer systems, and detention/retention facilities. Brief descriptions of
commonly used materials and applicable mathematical models are included, as well
as examples of computer software available for model calculations. Table2.1, which
is located at the end of this section, summarizes the various stormwater system com-
ponents, methods used in modeling these components, and typical model input
requirements. It also provides text references for obtaining more detailed information.
Open Channels
Open channels include natural stream channels, as well as natural swales (depres-
sions) along which water runs following rainfall events. In the constructed or urban-
ized environment, open channels include street gutters, drainage ditches, pipes, lined
or unlined stormwater collection channels, and natural or modified stream channels.
Figure 2.1 shows an example of flow in an open channel with a trapezoidal cross
Flow in a pipe is classified as open-channel flow if there is a water surface at atmo-
sphericpressure (that is, a free water surface). For the purposes of this book, the term
open-channel flow refers to any flow having a free water surface, regardless of
whether it occurs in a closed conduit such as a culvert or storm sewer, aboveground
channel, or other structure. Open-channel flow theory is presented in detail in Chapter
7. However, when the text refers simply to an open channel in the context of physical
characteristics or design approaches, as in Chapter 8, the term is meant to describe
nonpipe conveyances only.
20 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Figure 2.1
Open-channel flow
Prismatic versus Nonprismatic Channels. Open channels exist in a wide
variety of cross-sectional shapes. For analytical purposes, channels may be classified
as prismatic or nonprismatic. In a prismatic channel the variables that describe the
channel geometrysuch as its width, side slopes, and longitudinal sloperemain
constant along the length of the channel. In a nonprismatic channel one or more of
these geometric variables changes along the channel length. Natural stream channels,
whose widths and other channel properties are variable, are examples of nonprismatic
open channels. Treatment of open-channel flow in this text deals primarily with pris-
matic, man-made channels. Nevertheless, certain aspects associated with the hydrau-
lics of flow in nonprismatic channels will be addressed where appropriate.
Section 2.2 Hydraulic Components 21
Materials. Open channels can also be classified on the basis of whether they are
lined or unlined. The bottom and sides of an unlined channel consist of natural geo-
logic materials such as earth, gravel, or rock. In a lined channel, the channel bottom
and sides are covered with an erosion-resistant material such as concrete, asphalt,
riprap, or vegetation.
As shown in Chapter 7, the channels lining material (or lack thereof) affects hydrau-
lic performance characteristics such as flow depth and velocity. In turn, these same
characteristics affect the erosive forces of the flow, thereby influencing the lining
selection. The selection of the channel lining material is therefore a significant part of
the hydraulic design process.
Model Representation. To model open-channel flow, the engineer must know
the flow condition. With steady flow, flow characteristics such as discharge and veloc-
ity are constant over time at a given point in the channel. When these characteristics
do vary over time as a point, the condition is unsteady.
Steady flow can be further classified as either uniform flow or varied flow. Uniform
flow is a condition in which the depth, velocity, cross-sectional area, and discharge are
constant along the channel length. As a practical matter, this can happen only in a
prismatic channel and only if the flow is steady. In uniform flow, the depth of flow is
called normal depth.
Two models that can be used to describe uniform flow are the Manning equation and
the Chzy equation. In their simplest forms, either of these equations may be used to
calculate velocity or discharge as a function of channel slope, roughness and geome-
try. In design, these models are used in a variety of ways. For example, for a given
channel geometry, slope, roughness, and depth, the discharge may be calculated.
Alternatively, if the channel geometry, material roughness, discharge and maximum
allowable depth are specified, the required slope can be calculated. An example of a
computer model used for uniform flow calculations is FlowMaster. Modeling of uni-
form flow is covered in more detail in Section 7.3.
Varied flow is a condition in which the depth and velocity of flow change along the
length of the channel. If the depth and velocity change only gradually, the flow is said
to be gradually varied flow (GVF). If the depth and velocity change quickly over a
short distance, as in a hydraulic jump, the flow is said to be a rapidly varied flow
(RVF). Gradually varied flow occurs in all nonprismatic channels and in prismatic
channels under the influence of a flow control other than normal depth. Because the
curvatures of flow streamlines are small in a gradually varied flow, the pressure forces
can be assumed to be hydrostatic. Constitutive relationships developed for uniform
flow, such as the Manning equation, can be assumed to be valid for computing friction
losses in gradually varied flow.
Because of the variable channel geometry and the presence of flow controls, the data
required for gradually varied flow analysis are considerably more complex than for
uniform flow analysis. The input includes channel cross-section geometry, reach
lengths, channel roughness, and the water surface elevation at the control section.
HEC-RAS is an example of a computer program frequently used in gradually varied
flow profile calculations. For more information on gradually varied flow calculations,
seeSection 7.8.
22 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Channel routing is a procedure by which the outflow at the downstream end of a
channel reach is computed from inflow data and channel characteristics. It accounts
for the effects of channel storage and travel time on discharge rates; thus, it is a type
of unsteady flow modeling. Channel routing is applicable to both open channels and
sewer systems when channel storage and/or travel time affect flow rate to a significant
Channel routing may be accomplished by using either hydrologic or hydraulic routing
methods. Hydrologic routing is computationally simpler and less data-intensive, but
usually is also less accurate. Hydrologic routing algorithms are based on the physical
principle of conservation of mass and on an assumed storage relationship. Hydraulic
methods are more physically based and employ conservation of mass and conserva-
tion of momentum. Their use requires considerable data on channel geometry and
roughness variables and on initial and boundary conditions of the flow itself. The
Muskingum, Modified Puls, and Convex routing methods are examples of hydrologic
routing models. (See Section 5.8 and AppendixC.) Hydraulic routing involves a solu-
tion of the Saint-Venant equations, and may consist of kinematic, diffusion, or
dynamic wave routing. Such methods are not well-suited to manual calculations but
are coded into software packages such as HEC-RAS.
A culvert is a relatively short underground water conveyance conduit. The primary
purpose of a culvert, like that of a bridge, is to provide a means whereby the water in
a stream or other open channel can pass through an obstruction such as a highway or
railway embankment. Figure 2.2 shows a small culvert passing under a driveway.
Materials. Culverts come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. As shown in
Figure 2.3, cross-sectional shapes associated with culverts include circular, box, ellip-
tical (horizontal or vertical orientation), and arched.
Common materials used for culvert design are reinforced precast or cast-in-place con-
crete and corrugated steel. Other materials include corrugated aluminum, polyethyl-
ene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Discussions of these materials, including available
shapes and sizes and sources of further information, are presented in Section 9.2.
The inlet and/or outlet ends of a culvert often receive special treatment. A culvert end
may simply project from the embankment, or it may be mitered to conform to the
embankment slope. It may also be fitted with a special flared end section or with a
headwall and wingwalls. Section 9.3 discusses various types of end treatments and
their hydraulic performance characteristics, as well as special inlet configurations that
can be used when allowable headwater depths are limited.
Model Representation. A complete theoretical analysis of the hydraulics of a
particular culvert installation is complex. Flow conditions vary from one culvert to the
next, and they also vary over time. The barrel of the culvert may flow full or partially
full, depending on upstream or downstream conditions, barrel characteristics, and
inlet geometry. A commonly used method of analysis of culvert hydraulics was devel-
Section 2.2 Hydraulic Components 23
Figure 2.2
A corrugated metal
pipe culvert under a
oped by the Federal Highway Administration and published as Hydraulic Design
Series No. 5: Hydraulic Design of Highway Culverts, often referred to as HDS-5
(Norman, Houghtalen, and J ohnston, 2001). Modeling software such as CulvertMas-
ter follows the calculation methods set forth in HDS-5.
The following list describes the principal terms and concepts in culvert hydraulics
More detailed information on culvert hydraulic analysis and HDS-5 methodologies is
provided in Section 9.5 and Section 9.6.
Headwater depth is the depth (relative to the culverts upstream invert eleva-
tion) of flow just upstream of the culvert entrance. Any increase in energy
required to push an increased discharge through a culvert translates into a
greater headwater depth.
Tailwater depth is the depth of water just downstream of the culvert outlet.
The tailwater surface elevation may be dictated by downstream channel
characteristics, by obstructions, or by a receiving-water elevation. An exit
condition in which the tailwater depth is significantly less than the depth of
flow in the culvert, and thus does not affect the upstream hydraulics, is called
afree outfall.
24 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Figure 2.3
Common cross-
sectional shapes for
The flow condition in a culvert can be characterized as either full (pressure)
flow or partially full flow with a free water surface. Both free-surface and
pressure flow can occur simultaneously at different locations within the
same culvert. Uniform flow and gradually varied flow, as discussed earlier
for open channels, apply to free-surface flow in culverts as well.
The flow in a culvert may be controlled by conditions at either the inlet or
the outlet of the culvert, so the type of control is classified as either inlet
control or outlet control. In the case of inlet control, the hydraulic capacity of
the culvert entrance limits the amount of water conveyed for a given headwa-
ter depth; therefore, hydraulic characteristics downstream of the inlet control
section do not affect the culvert capacity. In an outlet control condition, the
culvert barrel capacity or downstream tailwater elevation limits the amount
of flow that can be conveyed by the culvert for a particular headwater eleva-
tion. The control section for outlet control is located at the barrel exit or fur-
ther downstream.
Section 2.2 Hydraulic Components 25
The flow velocity at the exit of a culvert is typically higher than that of the
stream channel into which the culvert discharges. High outlet velocity can
cause streambed scour and bank erosion in the vicinity of the culvert outlet.
Minor problems occasionally can be avoided by increasing the barrel rough-
ness, but structures such energy dissipators and/or outlet protection such as
riprap are often necessary.
Storm Sewer Systems
A storm sewer system is a network of primarily subsurface structures for the collec-
tion and conveyance of stormwater runoff. A typical storm sewer system consists of
inlets through which stormwater enters from the land surface, pipes that convey this
water, junction and manhole structures that serve as connection points for pipes and
provide access to the subsurface system, and outlets or outfalls where stormwater is
discharged to treatment facilities, to detention/retention structures, or into a larger
conveyance such as an open channel.
Components and Materials. Storm sewer systems almost always include
gutters, inlets, manholes, pipes, and outlet structures. Some systems may include stor-
age and/or pumping facilities and other structures such as weirs. The following sub-
sections briefly describe each of these components.
Although roadway gutters are not always considered a part of a stormwater manage-
ment system, they are in fact an integral part of the system and are responsible for
conveying runoff that collects in streets to inlets, where it enters the subsurface con-
veyance system. A gutter may be formed by a curb along the edge of a street, or, for
roads without curbs, it may consist of a shallow swale along the road edge. The vari-
ous gutter types are presented in Section 10.1.
Figure 2.4 is a photo of a concrete curb-and-gutter section. The width of flow in the
gutter is called the spread. Depending on the roadway classification and posted speed
limits, allowable spread widths may extend beyond the roadway shoulder width and
into the travel lane.
Curbs are typically composed of either precast, poured-in-place, extruded, or asphalt
concrete. In some cases, a depressed section of gutter may be integrated with the con-
crete curb, and the remainder of the gutter section is composed of the roadway pave-
ment material.
A stormwater inlet is a structure for intercepting stormwater on the ground surface or
in a roadway gutter and conveying it to the subsurface storm sewer piping system.
Common inlet types are grate inlets (Figure 2.5), curb inlets (Figure 2.6), and combi-
nation inlets (Figure 2.7).
For each of these three types, inlets can be further described as either continuous-
grade inlets or sag inlets. A sag inlet is constructed in a low point where water drains
to the inlet from all directions. With a continuous-grade inlet (also referred to as an
inlet on grade), surface water may flow away from the inlet opening in one or more
26 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Figure 2.4
Concrete curb and
Below the ground surface, inlets consist of box-like structures that support the inlet
opening (for example, the grate) and connect to the system piping. The inlet box is
typically constructed of precast reinforced concrete. Other materials include poured-
in-place concrete, corrugated metal, brick, and block. A catch basin is a special type
of inlet box designed to trap sediment and debris.
Although not considered inlets per se, runoff from streams and channels can enter
storm sewer systems through culvert-type entrances such as headwalls. Additional
specialized inlet types are discussed in Section 10.2.
Section 2.2 Hydraulic Components 27
Figure 2.5
A grate inlet in a
triangular gutter
Figure 2.6
A large curb inlet
28 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Figure 2.7
A combination inlet
Manholes, sometimes called access holes, are usually installed in sewers at locations
where pipes join, change direction, or change size. They provide access to the system
for inspection and maintenance. Manholes for relatively small-diameter sewers
generally consist of a concrete or masonry base, which ideally has been formed to aid
in reducing the energy loss associated with water traveling from the inlet pipe(s) to
the outlet pipe. Figure 2.8 shows a precast concrete manhole structure prior to
installation. Junction structures, like manholes, are used where two or more pipes join
one another. However, junction structures tend to be associated with larger or more
complex installations and are often custom-made.
For storm sewer pipes, circular pipe is the most typical cross-sectional shape, but, as
with culverts, a variety of cross-sectional shapes are available (see Figure 2.3). Ellipti-
cal and arch-shaped cross sections may be used for instances in which vertical or hor-
izontal clearances are limited. Rectangular concrete box sections are also available.
Concrete pipe (shown in Figure 2.9) is available in both nonreinforced and reinforced
varieties and in a range of wall thicknesses and strength classes and is probably the
most commonly used pipe material for storm sewer construction.
Section 2.2 Hydraulic Components 29
Figure 2.8
A precast manhole
Corrugated metal pipe (or CMP) is also used frequently in storm sewers (see Figure
2.10). Like concrete pipe, CMP is manufactured in a number of cross-sectional shapes
and sizes and in strict accordance with standard specifications. Corrugated steel prod-
ucts include circular and arch pipes, structural plate pipe-arches, and structural plate
arches, with the last requiring bolted assembly in the field. Various coatings and steel
thicknesses are available.
Although concrete and corrugated steel pipes are by far the most common in storm
sewer and culvert applications, other materials, such as corrugated aluminum, poly-
ethylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), are used as well. PVC pipes are shown in
Figure 2.11.
30 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Figure 2.9
Concrete pipes
Figure 2.10
Corrugated metal pipe
Storm sewers may outfall to the ground surface, into a natural or man-made body of
water, or into detention or treatment facilities. Exit velocities at storm sewer outfalls
are often large enough to cause erosion problems and potential undermining of the
outfall pipe. Outlet structures dissipate the excess energy of the flow and prevent
undermining. An outlet structure may be as simple as a concrete headwall with a
riprap and filter blanket downstream of the outfall point, or it may consist of a more
complex energy dissipator or stilling basin.
Section 2.2 Hydraulic Components 31
Figure 2.11
PVC pipes
In most cases, stormwater management systems are designed as gravity systems.
Pumping of stormwater is generally undesirable because it significantly increases the
cost of stormwater conveyance but cannot be avoided in some instances. For storm-
water pumping purposes, the most common types of pumps are axial-flow pumps,
radial-flow pumps, and mixed-flow pumps. Both wet-well and dry-well installations
are found in stormwater pumping applications. Chapter 13 provides information on
the design of stormwater pumping systems.
Model Representation. Many components are involved in modeling a storm
sewer system, and various levels of model complexity exist for their analysis. The
hydraulic design or analysis of a storm sewer can typically be broken down into two
major parts: surface hydraulics (that is, gutter flow and inlet capacity) and subsurface
hydraulics (pipe capacity and energy losses). Other possible components are pump
stations and storage facilities.
Levels of analysis that may be performed on storm sewers include:
Use of a steady-state model that ensures the system can handle peak flows.
Use of an extended-period simulation (EPS) analysis that applies hydrologic
routing and that may also simulate inter-storm time periods.
Use of a dynamic model that solves the full Saint-Venant equations.
32 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
A steady-state analysis is typically sufficient for design applications that do not
involve system flooding or storage facilities and for which the peak flows from vari-
ous subbasins arrive at the outlet at roughly the same time. This type of analysis is the
primary focus of this text. The paragraphs that follow describe basic steady-state
model requirements for surface systems, subsurface systems, and pumping facilities.
The surface portion of a storm sewer system consists of gutters and other open chan-
nels, and inlet structures. Gutter hydraulics are typically modeled as uniform flow in
an open channel. Specialized forms of the Manning equation have been developed to
facilitate this calculation and are given in Section 10.1. The data required are the dis-
charge, the geometry of the street (longitudinal and transverse slopes) the height of
the curb, and the roughness of the pavement.
Inlets in sag locations operate as weirs for shallow flows and as orifices for greater
flow depths. The forms of the weir and orifice equations used for computing the
capacities of curb-opening and grate inlets are presented in Section 10.2 of this text.
For grated inlets, information on the grate perimeter and open area is required. For
curb inlet calculations, the dimensions of the curb opening and the local depression
are necessary.
Calculations for inlets on grade are somewhat more complex, as all of the flow that
comes toward the inlet may not be intercepted. A portion of the flow in the gutter,
termed bypass flow, may flow over or around the inlet and continue downgradient.
The calculation of intercepted flow and bypass flow is performed using empirical
methods that take into account the velocity of the flow in the gutter relative to the inlet
length, the amount of inlet depression, and the inlets splash-over velocity (for grate
inlets, the critical velocity at which a portion of the flow begins to splash over the
inlet). Section 10.2 provides the equations describing the capacity of inlets on grade.
Inlet bypass flows form a surface network for stormwater runoff similar to the way
sewer piping forms a subsurface network. Manual calculations for inlet capture and
bypass can be quite tedious if a project has a large number of inlets on grade. Some
computer programs used for computing inlet and gutter hydraulic characteristics are
simple equation-solvers that look at each structure individually. An example of this
type of program is FlowMaster, which is useful for performing quick calculations on
small systems.
Other computer programs allow the user to develop a network of on-grade inlets,
inlets in sag, and gutters. These programs analyze the surface system using the same
methodologies as the simpler programs, but alterations in the loading of gutters and
inlets due to upstream bypass flows are automatically taken into account. Typically,
this type of program will also perform the subsurface hydraulic calculations. Many
software packages are available for this application, but one popular package is
StormCAD (Haestad, 2003b).
Flow in the subsurface system is modeled as one of two flow conditions (see
Table2.1). When a pipe is not full and the water surface is open to the atmosphere, the
flow is modeled as open-channel flow. A friction loss equation such as the Manning
or Chzy equation may be used to determine flow depths and velocities. When a pipe
is flowing full (that is, it is surcharged), closed conduit pressure flow calculation
Section 2.2 Hydraulic Components 33
methods are used. The data requirements for these calculations are discharge, pipe
size, roughness, length, and slope.
In a storm sewer network, the minor energy losses that occur at inlets, at locations
where pipe size or alignment changes, and at outlets can be significant. Data require-
ments for computing these losses include the geometry of the structure and the
entrance and exit velocities. Several methods for computing minor losses are available
(see Sections 6.3 and 11.4), and computer models such as StormCAD can compute
these losses as part of a network analysis.
The operating characteristics of a pump, when installed in a piping system, can be
ascertained from graphs of pump and system curves. These characteristics include the
energy head produced by the pump, the corresponding pump discharge, the brake
horsepower requirements for the pump motor(s), and the net positive section head
required to avoid cavitation damage to the impeller and other internal parts. Methods
for determining these operating characteristics, for both single- and multiple-pump
installations, are presented in Section 13.3.
Stormwater Detention and Retention
A common objective in stormwater management is to maintain the peak runoff rate
from a developing area to a value no greater than the predevelopment rate. This prac-
tice will reduce local flooding, soil erosion, sedimentation, and pollution. Local gov-
erning bodies typically establish specific design criteria for peak flow attenuation.
Detention basins reduce the magnitude of peak flows by temporarily storing the run-
off and releasing it over an extended period of time. Additionally, ponds often func-
tion as sedimentation basins, reducing the concentration of suspended materials in the
Detention Basin Types and Components. Wet ponds are designed to
maintain a minimum water depth between storms. Dry ponds are designed to com-
pletely discharge stored runoff between storms. The configuration of a detention pond
is generally dictated by site conditions. A dry detention pond is shown in Figure 2.12.
The most common detention facility designs are earthen basins or ponds located
downstream of the collection area and upstream of the discharge point. The detention
ponds outlet structure controls the rate at which runoff may discharge from the facil-
ity. Common outlet structure devices include weirs, orifices, culverts, inlet boxes, and
standpipes. Most ponds are also equipped with an emergency overflow spillway to
handle flows if the primary outlet becomes clogged, or if a storm has a magnitude
greater than the ponds design event.
Model Representation. Detention ponds are modeled using the routing proce-
dures described in Section 12.7. The basic data requirements are an inflow
hydrograph, the depth to volume relationship of the pond, and the hydraulic charac-
teristics of the outlet structure.
34 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Figure 2.12
Dry detention pond
Capabilities of computer programs for stormwater detention modeling vary widely.
The most basic programs allow for hydrograph input into a single pond with a simple
outlet such as an orifice or weir, and the pond is routed using a technique such as
storage-indication routing or numerical integration. More powerful models, such as
PondPack (Haestad Methods, 2003a), can analyze networked watersheds and multiple
ponds, interconnected ponds, and complex outlet structures. Fully dynamic stormwa-
ter modeling programs allow storage facilities to be modeled together with other ele-
ments of the stormwater conveyance system.
Summary of Hydraulic Models for Various
Components of Stormwater Management Systems
A number of computer modeling software programs are available for virtually all of
the methods presented in this text, and some examples of these programs have been
mentioned in this chapter. However, because of the wide variety of structure types and
available calculation techniques used in the field of stormwater management, there is
great variation and specialization among the available programs. The primary thrust
of this text as it relates to computer modeling is to aid the reader in understanding the
methodologies underlying the programs. Such understanding is necessary if the engi-
neer is to apply the computer programs correctly and confidently.
Table2.1 lists the numerical models frequently used to describe the behavior of vari-
ous components of stormwater conveyance systems, the input data required by these
models, and references tothe sections of this book where each model is discussed. It
should be noted that most software programs can implement a collection of models
from this list. For instance, modeling software for storm sewer systems would likely
include solvers for uniform, gradually varied, and pressure flow; gutter flow; inlet
performance; and minor losses in manholes.
Section 2.2 Hydraulic Components 35
Note: This table is repeated in Appendix D. That version lists the software programon the accompanying
CD-ROM that can be used with each type of model component.
Table 2.1 References for common stormwater conveyance system component models
Component Modeling Methods Typical Input data Section of Text
Channel with uni-
Manning equation, Chzy
equation, or Darcy-Weisbach
Channel roughness
Channel geometry
Channel slope
Discharge or velocity
Channel with gradu-
ally varied flow
Direct-step method or
standard-step method
Geometry of each cross section
Starting water surface elevation
Channel with flow
Muskingum Historical flood data or routing
Inflow hydrograph
Modified Puls Geometry of outlet
Inflow hydrograph
Saint-Venant equations Channel geometry
Inflow hydrograph
Appendix C
Culvert with inlet
HDS-5 methodology Inlet geometry
Culvert with outlet
HDS-5 methodology Pipe geometry
Pipe material
Inlet geometry
Tailwater elevation
Roadway overtop-
HDS-5 methodology Roadway profile coordinates
Type of road
Roadway width
Gutter flow Manning equation or Chzy
Roadway slopes
Curb height
Pavement roughness
Stormsewer pipes
with open channel
Manning equation or Chzy
equation; Saint-Venant
Pipe roughness
Pipe geometry
Pipe slope
Discharge or velocity
7.3; 7.4; 7.5; 7.8
11.5; Appendix C
Stormsewer pipes
with pressure flow
Manning, Hazen-Williams, or
Chzy equation; Saint-Venant
Pipe roughness
Pipe geometry
Pipe slope
Discharge or velocity
Tailwater conditions
6.2; 6.3; 11.5;
Appendix C
Inlets Weir and orifice equations Discharge
Inlet type and geometry
Manholes Minor loss equations Entrance and exit velocities
Structure geometry
6.3; 11.4
Weir and/or orifice equations Geometry
Water surface elevations
7.6; 7.7
Pumps Energy equation
Pump head-discharge curves
13.3; 13.7
Systemoutlets Weir equations
Orifice equations
Minor loss equations
Energy dissipation model
Boundary conditions such as tail-
water data or downstreamchan-
nel characteristics
Geometric characteristics of outlet
6.3; 9.5; 11.7
Detention ponds Hydrologic routing and
Hydraulic routing
Inflow hydrograph
Depth vs. volume for pond
Geometry of outlet or stage-
discharge curve
12.6; 12.7
36 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
The urban stormwater infrastructure can be viewed as consisting of a minor system
and a major system. The minor system is designed to handle frequent events with
return periods typically on the order of 2 to 10 years. The minor system consists of,
for instance, roadway gutters, inlets, and pipes.
The major system consists of the pathways taken by flows in excess of the capacity of
the minor system. It can be thought of as inundated roadways, swales and depres-
sions, and natural and man-made open channels. A major system always exists, even
when a minor system does not. Unfortunately, major systems are often neglected and
do not receive the attention that they warrant, especially in light of the high probabil-
ity of operational failure of the minor system.
The overall process of designing a storm drainage system can be broken down into a
number of phases. These phases are
1. Master planning
2. Concept and preliminary design development
3. Detailed design
4. Preparation of construction drawings, specifications, and contract documents
Each of these phases is described more fully in the sections that follow.
Master Planning
Master planning, often conducted for an entire urban area by a drainage-system
authority or review agency, provides a holistic view of the urban drainage system and
how its various components interact. The need for master planning is particularly
acute where an urbanized area spans a number of different political jurisdictions, each
having its own objectives and design criteria. In such instances, master planning can
help ensure that systems that cross jurisdictional boundaries are consistent with one
another. Even if only one political jurisdiction is involved, master planning provides
useful guidance for constructing new drainage systems that are consistent not only
with one another, but also with existing facilities.
The issues that should be addressed by a master plan are, at a minimum, delineations
of major urban drainageways (whose floodplains might be mapped for flood insur-
ance purposes) and approximate limits and locations of storm sewers in the contribut-
ing drainage basin(s). The master plan should make a clear distinction between the
minor and major drainage systems, and it should also take whatever steps are politi-
cally and legally possible to ensure that the major system is functional and provides a
reasonable degree of protection from severe storm events.
Technically, a master plan should contain enough detail to be an effective guide to the
ultimate construction and/or rehabilitation of storm drainage facilities in the area cov-
ered by the plan. Hydrologic analyses should have sufficient detail to provide reason-
able estimates of required system conveyance capacities and should address estimates
of expected future flows in developing drainage basins. Zoning master plans, where
Section 2.3 The Design Process 37
available, are invaluable for providing estimates of ultimate land uses in a drainage
The master plan report and other documents should clearly state the design storm-
recurrence intervals for which planned drainage facilities are to be designed and
should be referred to frequently as individual components of the overall system are
designed and constructed. A listing of typical design storm return periods, as recom-
mended by the American Society of Civil Engineers, is presented in Table 2.2.
In areas where existing storm-drainage facilities require rehabilitation and/or retrofit-
ting, and especially in cases where additional right-of-way acquisitions may be
required, the master plan should identify such needs and should provide estimates of
the costs associated with the upgrades.
Preliminary Design Development
As new subdivision developments are built or as drainage-improvement projects are
begun, development of preliminary designs should precede detailed final design activ-
ities. Preliminary designs should be consistent with the broad system outlines estab-
lished during the master planning phase, but they should provide additional detail on
locations of individual drainage structures and features. In the case of a new subdivi-
sion, for example, the preliminary design can be indicated on a preliminary plat show-
ing the proposed street and parcel layout of the development. This preliminary design
provides an opportunity for jurisdictional authorities to review the consistency of the
proposed facilities with the broader-scale master plan and ensure that both minor and
major drainage-system considerations have been dealt with.
Activities associated with preliminary design entail more detailed hydrologic analyses
than those conducted for master planning purposes. They should also explicitly
account for how the proposed facilities fit into larger-scale regional plans. Design
alternatives should receive detailed evaluation in this phase, as should methods for
dealing with upstream flows and discharges to downstream areas.
At a minimum, a preliminary design drawing and report should consist of topographic
mapping on which streets, land parcels, and proposed storm-drainage facilities have
been superimposed. The storm-drainage layout should indicate pipe, manhole, and
inlet locations, as well as locations of other features such as detention and/or retention
ponds. Drainage basins contributing to each inlet should be shown and referenced to
Table 2.2 Typical return periods for design of stormwater drainage systems (ASCE, 1992)
Land Use
Return Period
Minor drainage systems
Residential 2 to 5
High-value generation commercial 2 to 10
Airports (terminals, roads, aprons) 2 to 10
High-value downtown business 5 to 10
Major drainage systemelements Up to 100
38 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
accompanying hydrologic estimates of design flows in the report. Finally, the prelim-
inary design report should explicitly address the major drainage system, including the
general pathways and directions of major system flow on the design drawing.
Detailed Design
Following the approval of the preliminary design by the appropriate jurisdictional
authorities, the engineer can proceed with the detailed design. As the name implies,
this phase involves detailed engineering analyses that will serve as the basis for the
design described by the construction plans and specifications.
Detailed hydrologic and hydraulic analyses must be performed at this stage to finalize
design discharges and determine the dimensions of hydraulic structures, such as
pipes, inlets, ponds, and energy dissipators. Structural analyses are necessary to deter-
mine required pipe strength classes or wall thicknesses and may also be required for
other project-specific hydraulic structures. Geotechnical analyses are necessary to
locate shallow bedrock that could affect construction costs; to determine groundwater
elevations that could affect trenching, buoyancy forces on submerged pipes and struc-
tures, and pipe infiltration; and to determine pipe-bedding requirements.
It is essential that complete and well-organized files be maintained to document each
activity and decision in the detailed design phase. Should unforeseen circumstances
occur during construction, or should litigation arise after construction of the system
has been completed, these files will provide a record of the adequacy of the design
and its adherence to accepted engineering practices.
Construction Drawings, Specifications, and Contract
Construction drawings should be prepared as the final design is completed and should
go hand in hand with that activity. Construction plans consist of plan and profile
sheets showing horizontal and vertical alignments of new and existing facilities,
including all dimensions required for a survey crew to lay out the system in the field.
Plan views should indicate the locations, elevations, and dimensions of all proposed
pipes, inlets, manholes, and other system features, and should show at least approxi-
mate locations of existing utilities that could pose potential conflicts. Existing land-
surface features, such as curbs, walks, and other structures requiring demolition and
subsequent replacement, should also be shown.
Profile views should include required pipe slopes and invert elevations, existing and
proposed ground-surface elevations, approximate limits of bedrock, and approximate
elevations of underground utilities. If the construction contractor is to perform utility
relocations, then construction requirements for the relocations must also be included
in the plans. It is sometimes desirable to show energy and hydraulic grade-line pro-
files on construction plans; they are certainly not needed for construction, but may be
required for regulatory submittals.
In addition to plan and profile drawings, construction plans should clearly identify
required materials and material classes and should provide construction details, such
Section 2.4 Integration of Stormwater Conveyance Modeling with CAD Software and GIS 39
as reinforcing steel layouts, for any special structures. Some construction details may
already be available in sets of standard plans published by, for example, transportation
departments. As a courtesy to project bidders, construction plans may also include
one or more sheets containing tabulations of estimated material quantities.
Technical specifications are the heart of any set of construction documents, spelling
out in detail the required construction methods and material types, classes, and testing
requirements. It is common to reference standard construction specifications pub-
lished by jurisdictional agencies, but care should be taken to avoid conflicting require-
ments in the plans and technical specifications. There may be conflicts between the
engineers specifications and standard specifications, between standard specifications
and construction plans, or both. There is no such thing as a standard project. Stan-
dardized technical specifications must be viewed with a wary eye.
The contract documents for a construction project consist of the plans, technical spec-
ifications, and other boiler-plate provisions. These additional provisions generally
consist of bidding documents, bonds, official notices to proceed and notices of project
acceptance, and general and special conditions of the contract. The general conditions
typically specify such things as owner-engineer-contractor responsibilities and job-
site requirements relating to issues such as materials storage, sanitation, site cleanup,
and conformance with applicable laws and regulations. The general conditions are
typically a standard document used for all construction contracts within a jurisdic-
tional area. The Standard General Conditions of the Construction Contract docu-
ment from the Engineers J oint Contract Documents Committee (EJ CDC, 2002) is a
widely used set of general conditions in the United States Special conditions, which
are project-specific and assembled by the engineer, identify requirements other than
those specified in the general conditions, and can also be used to modify provisions of
standardized technical specifications.
The integration of conveyance modeling with computer-aided design (CAD) pro-
grams and geographic information systems (GIS) has a number of benefits. Hydraulic
and hydrologic design and analysis software often includes both CAD and GIS-type
features. In some cases, analysis applications can run directly within an organizations
preferred CAD or GIS platform. This section describes some of the benefits of lever-
aging CAD and GIS capabilities in hydraulic design and analysis.
CAD Integration
CAD software can be useful in both the initial and final stages of a hydraulic design
project. A CAD drawing typically provides the base plan for the layout of stormwater
management facilities such as sewer networks, channels, and detention ponds. After
the facilities have been designed, this plan is updated to reflect proposed structures for
inclusion in the construction documents.
40 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Software applications interact with CAD systems in a variety of ways. A graphics-
based application such as StormCAD may be capable of displaying a background
CAD file for use in system layout, or the hydraulic analysis application may run
directly inside of a CAD program such as AutoCAD (see Figure 2.13) or Microsta-
tion. CAD features can be used to fine-tune system layout and supply data on the
topography and horizontal and vertical structure coordinates. Many CAD programs
used by civil engineers are equipped with special tools for assisting engineers in cre-
ating roadway grading plans and drawing sewer profiles.
Figure 2.13
Stormsewer plan and
profile created using
hydraulic design
software running
inside of AutoCAD
Engineers can choose from various approaches when integrating hydraulic design
with a CAD application. Several possible options, ordered from least to greatest
degree of integration, are as follows:
No automated data exchange occurs between the CAD program and the
hydraulic modeling software. The engineer manually enters schematic data
on the hydraulic system into the analysis software and designs the system.
The system characteristics resulting from the design are then manually input
into the CAD drawing for inclusion in constructiondocuments.
A CAD drawing containing the background information necessary to lay out
the stormwater facilities is used as a background map in the hydraulic design
software. After the systems layout is completed and its elements designed,
the layout is imported into the CAD drawing. Other element characteristics
are added to the drawing manually.
The initial hydraulic system layout is created in the CAD drawing and
imported into the analysis program. Depending on the features of the CAD
Section 2.4 Integration of Stormwater Conveyance Modeling with CAD Software and GIS 41
software, the data imported may include, in addition to the horizontal layout
(that is, coordinate and/or connectivity data), elevation information, structure
types, preliminary structure sizes, and other characteristics. Once the design
is final, system data can be transferred back into the CAD application
through automated import/export methods.
An analysis application that runs directly within the CAD platform is used.
In the design process, hydraulic structures are inserted directly into the draw-
ing file, and data are readily available from both the CAD program and
hydraulic design tool. This technique is the most efficient of the various inte-
gration approaches.
Typically, increased integration of CAD and hydraulic design and analysis applica-
tions translates to less data duplication, decreased opportunities for the introduction
of errors and omissions, and increased time savings.
GIS Integration
A geographic information system (GIS) is a powerful configuration of computer hard-
ware and software used for compiling, storing, managing, manipulating, analyzing,
and mapping (displaying) spatially referenced information. It combines the function-
alities of a computer graphics program, an electronic map, and a database.
Like CAD, a GIS can be used in many stages of stormwater conveyance modeling.
Although CAD programs provide an excellent format for developing technical draw-
ings, they generally do not provide a means of storing data associated with those
drawings. For example, a CAD drawing may show a stormwater pipe network for a
neighborhood. However, if the engineer is to model the network using information
from the drawing, the drawing must contain detailed annotations for each structure
describing characteristics such as pipe material, size, and inlet and outlet elevations.
A GIS, by comparison, can store model information in an internal database associated
with each GIS data layer. The database functions of a GIS also allow data to be stored
and maintained externally and accessed when needed through a dynamic database
GIS software typically has tools for drawing (digitizing), map display, data storage,
and data analysis. The digitizing tools allow for conversion of hard-copy drawings to
an electronic format and are almost identical to those of CAD programs. Map display
tools allow users to change the appearance of different types of features (points, lines,
polygons, and text) according to values in the database. [For instance, within a single
layer, all 6-in. (150-mm) pipes may be shown in red, with concrete pipes displayed as
solid lines and corrugated steel pipes displayed as dashed lines.] The data storage
tools are similar to those of many database programs, with data lookup, query, and
sort functions.
Thedata analysis tools of GIS make it well-suited to supporting stormwater convey-
ance modeling. These tools allow users to consider both spatial and data relationships
to develop new data or to provide model inputs. For example, one may be trying to
evaluate the runoff response of a watershed by looking at information about a storm
sewer trunk line, which may be made up of multiple pipes of different sizes and mate-
42 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
rials. Data analysis tools in GIS could aid in determining the hydrographs time to
peak by spatially defining a connected flow path, and then using stored data on pipe
characteristics to solve the hydraulic equations necessary to calculate the runoff
response times.
As may be inferred from the previous example, two important ways in which GIS
software supports stormwater conveyance modeling are
By assisting hydrologic modeling
By storing data from stormwater system inventories.
GIS and Hydrologic Modeling. GIS can be integrated with hydrologic mod-
eling in a number of ways, depending on the type of work being performed. Many
local government agencies maintain extensive GIS systems, and these can be excel-
lent sources of hydrologic and hydraulic model input data, such as
Data for physical features like rivers and streams, land cover, geology, and
Specialized topographic data including spot elevations, surveyed cross-
sections, contours, and digital elevation models (DEMs)
Data for man-made features like roadways and other impervious areas,
bridges, storm sewers, and other utilities
Tax parcel or property boundaries, addressed buildings, and ownership
Governmental maps including municipal boundaries, census data, and
GIS software packages offer various specialized tools for managing the topographic
data used in delineating watersheds. However, actual watershed boundaries can differ
from those delineated using only surface topography (for instance, storm sewers may
cross surface watershed boundaries). For this reason, the engineer must take care to
address both natural and man-made features when delineating watersheds and ensure
that the boundaries are correctly placed in the GIS. Figure 2.14 shows a watershed
delineated using a GIS.
After the watershed boundary is delineated, the next task is often to model the runoff
response of the basin. GIS data analysis tools can assist in processing rainfall data and
determining area-weighted averages for parameters such as runoff coefficient (see
Section 5.2, page 118). For more complex coefficients based on multiple data layers,
the GIS can also use an overlay tool to develop new mapping for areas with unique
combinations of characteristics. For example, the curve number method predicts run-
off response based on both land use and hydrologic soil group (see Section 5.2, page
119). Areas with unique curve numbers can be delineated by overlaying a land use
map on a soils map and then using a lookup table.
Section 2.4 Integration of Stormwater Conveyance Modeling with CAD Software and GIS 43
Figure 2.14
Watershed delineated
using a GIS
GIS data can also play a critical role in finding suitable sites for new stormwater
structures and systems. As an area develops, land for stormwater management struc-
tures such as large detention ponds may become more scarce and difficult to find. A
GIS is ideally suited to performing the spatial and data analyses needed to locate these
sites. For example, hydrologic analysis may show that a 10-acre (4-ha) pond needs to
be located along a 3-mi (5-km) stream reach. Any site for the pond must be within
300 ft (90 m) of the stream, have a minimum of 15 ac (6 ha) of available space, and
possess suitable soils and proper zoning. Further, the pond cannot impact environ-
mental or historical sites. Through a series of data analysis steps, a GIS could identify
sites that meet these criteria and rank these sites according to anticipated land cost
based on the current tax assessment.
GIS for Stormwater System Inventories. GIS can also be used to store
the inventory information for stormwater management systems. Even simple storm-
water systems may have a variety of gutters, inlets, outlet, manholes, culverts, pipes,
channels, and other facilities. The database capabilities of a GIS allow each compo-
nent to have a unique database structure and setup for use in storing individual struc-
ture information.
GIS inventories can play an important role in both the hydraulic modeling and main-
tenance of a stormwater system. Data about structures that could be stored and used in
modeling would likely include
44 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Data useful in maintenance efforts may include
Inspection reports
Maintenance logs
Public works complaint records
The database linking capability of the GIS is important, because many of the mainte-
nance records may be stored in databases of several different local government
GIS integration with stormwater modeling, like CAD integration, can range from no
automated data exchange to complete integration within a GIS platform. However, the
data analysis and database capabilities that can be performed using a GIS are more
complex and, in many cases, can substantially reduce the number of data-entry steps.
The data exchange between a model and a GIS is two-way: a GIS can provide existing
information to a model, and data from a model of a new system can be imported into
a GIS to update a stormwater system inventory. Some hydraulic analysis applications
(for example, StormCAD) provide a means of automatically synchronizing data with
a GIS. Figure 2.15 shows storm sewer system data stored in a GIS.
Figure 2.15
Information on a
stormsewer system
can be stored in a GIS
2.5 Sources of Model Data
The typical stormwater conveyance project, whether it is a new design or a study of an
existing system, uses data from a variety of sources. At the beginning of a project, the
engineer should consider what the data requirements for the project will be, including
data types, quality, and quantity. Once these requirements have been defined, it is usu-
ally a straightforward effort to identify the data sources. When multiple sources are
Section 2.5 Sources of Model Data 45
available for a specific data type, the choice of which source to use is based on bal-
ancing cost with data quality.
Proposed Systems
For proposed systems, most of the model input is developed by the engineer as part of
the design process and will be subject to constraints dictated by project goals, site
conditions, and local design standards. Common sources of data utilized in the design
of new systems are described in the paragraphs that follow.
Surveys. For proposed systems, survey data are used as the base upon which the
proposed layout and grading plans, and therefore stormwater conveyance designs, are
developed. A survey also provides information on existing watercourses, drainage
systems, utilities, and various obstacles in the project area, and aids the engineer in
avoiding conflicts with these features. Of particular interest to stormwater conveyance
designers is survey information on the sites outfall(s). The outfall location provides
the engineer with a controlling elevation that the proposed system must tie into. For
cases in which a proposed sewer system will tie directly to an existing sewer system,
information on existing structure characteristics is required.
Layout and Grading Plans for the Proposed Site. The design of the
stormwater conveyance system for a project is typically performed concurrently with
or following the development of the layout and grading plans. These plans serve as
the primary source of information for development of the preliminary drainage sys-
tem layout. The proposed grading reveals the sites major catchment areas and pro-
vides the ground elevations required by the model.
Hydrologic Data Sources. Hydrologic data are available from a variety of
sources. For most designs, local rainfall data and design storm information can be
obtained from the local review agency. Transportation departments are another possi-
ble source of hydrologic data, as are governmental organizations such as the National
Weather Service and Natural Resource Conservation Service in the United States.
Often, data are readily available through an organizations web site. Further informa-
tion on hydrologic data sources is presented in Chapters 4 and 5.
Local Design Standards. Local design standards provide a number of con-
straints in drainage design and may originate from more than one source (for instance,
in addition to city or county requirements, state environmental regulations and trans-
portation department standards may also be applicable to a single design project).
Requirements frequently include
Minimum pipe or culvert size
Acceptable pipe or culvert materials
Approved inlet types
Design storm event return periods
Maximum gutter spread and depth
Minimum inlet capture efficiency
46 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
Maximum distance between manholes
Minimum freeboard requirement
Stormwater detention requirements
Accepted analysis techniques and applicable procedures and coefficients
Submittal requirements for permitting
When beginning a drainage design in an unfamiliar jurisdiction, it is best to contact
the local reviewing agency or agencies early in the design process to discuss the
applicable requirementsand obtain a copy of the local stormwater regulations/design
guidelines, if available. This preparation can save considerable time later in the
Existing Systems
The sources of information used in evaluating the performance of an existing storm-
water facility such as a sewer system, detention basin, or roadway culvert are often
the same as those used in new designs, but the approach to the project will differ
somewhat. On the surface, the analysis of an existing system may appear to be an eas-
ier task than designing new facilities: the geometry of the system isknown, and topo-
graphic information can be taken directly from a survey rather than from a proposed
design. However, the analysis of an existing system often presents other challenges, as
such studies almost always stem from problems such as undersized piping and flood-
ing in the area. The modeler is faced with the forensic problem of trying to re-create
what happens in a real system, as opposed to simply sizing system components for a
synthetic design event.
Surveys. Survey data are relied on much more extensively in the analysis of an
existing system than in the design of a new system. For instance, a number of storm
sewer manholes and inlet structures must often be field-located and their covers
removed to determine pipe sizes, orientations, and invert elevations. Ponds and
depressions that serve as detention basins must be carefully surveyed, and these areas
are often wet or overgrown, making access difficult. Detention outlet structures must
also be surveyed carefully to model the basin accurately, including planned or
unplanned overflow spillways. If a culvert roadway crossing is being examined, the
culvert entrance type must be noted and the roadway profile surveyed for overtopping
analysis. A detailed topographic survey may also be needed to determine drainage
subbasin areas.
Site Reconnaissance. When conducting a study of an existing drainage system,
it is advisable for the engineer to make at least one site visit. A visit to the site pro-
vides an opportunity to
Resolve ambiguities in the survey
Examine and delineate contributing drainage areas that may lie outside of the
survey area
Observe the condition of the existing infrastructure
Section 2.5 Sources of Model Data 47
Look for project-related problems such as soil erosion, debris in drainage-
ways, and water quality issues
Observe watershed and drainageway characteristics to determine model
parameters such as channel roughnesses, runoff coefficients, and culvert
entrance types
Photograph the site to assist other engineers involved in the project, provide
answers to questions that may arise after the site visit, and provide a record
of site conditions
Original Plans and Design Calculations. A great deal of information use-
ful in the study of an existing system can be obtained from original construction doc-
uments and design calculations. The compliance of the constructed system with the
original plans must still be verified through a survey, but these plans do help the engi-
neer to understand the original intent of the designer. They are an excellent starting
point for the engineer in deciding what information the surveyor should gather. The
engineer can also use the plans to identify problems in the system resulting from dif-
ferences in the intent of the designer and the constructed systemproblems that may
be alleviated by altering the site to bring it into closer agreement with the original
planor to identify deficiencies in the original design.
The original hydraulic and hydrologic design calculations can also be of help to the
engineer. The model input data and calculations can be verified for accuracy, which
can aid the discovery of why the system is not providing the anticipated level of pro-
tection. For instance, a contributing drainage area upstream of the projects convey-
ance system may have been developed since the projects construction and be
contributing more runoff than it was previously.
As-Built Surveys/Drawings. When available, as-built drawings can be an
excellent source of information when conducting a study of an existing system. These
drawings may be obtained from the property owner, the engineer who did the original
design, the surveyor who performed the as-built survey, or the local review agency.
If the accuracy of the as-built drawings can be verified through site reconnaissance,
and depending on the level of detail required by the study, as-built drawings can
greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for additional survey data. The engineer
must make allowances for the level of detail of the as-built drawings and any changes
made to the site since its construction when deciding how much to rely on this source
of information.
Structure Inventories and Atlases. Local public works departments or
stormwater utilities, and state transportation departments, often maintain mapping
and other data on stormwater conveyances, especially those within the public right-of-
way. Frequently, this information is stored within a GIS. These data can be useful
when performing a hydraulic analysis, especially to help the engineer understand
what is happening off-site and learn about the potential downstream effects of a
Existing Flood Studies. Existing hydraulic studies are available for many
streams, especially in developed areas. In the United States, these studies may have
been performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or, increasingly, by private
48 System Components, Models, and the Design Process Chapter 2
consulting engineers under contract with government agencies or developers. In the
United States, these studies are usually submitted to the Federal Emergency Manage-
ment Agency (FEMA) and, if approved, become part of regulatory flood maps.
For projects involving large, previously studied conveyances, detailed reports and
hydrologic and hydraulic calculations can often be obtained through the contracting
or reviewing agency. The calculations can be used to understand the performance of
conveyances in and around the project area, and they can be modified to reflect
changes to these conveyances resulting from the proposed project.
When using existing flood study data, it is important to keep in mind the studys level
of accuracy. Many of these studies are out-of-date and were subject to tight budgetary
constraints. Thus, the level of detail that often characterizes these large-scale studies
is typically insufficient when examined on the smaller scale of many stormwater con-
veyance projects. For instance, flows may have been computed using a regression for-
mula having a high degree of uncertainty associated with it, or stream cross-sections
may be very far apart.
Also important to be aware of when referring to an older study are changes in the state
of engineering practice since the study was performed. More accurate modeling tech-
niques may have become available since that time. Further, the study area may have
undergone significant changes since the study was performed, such as alterations to
land use, stream cross-sections, and roadway crossings.
Floodplain Modeling Using HEC-RAS (Dyhouse et al., 2003) provides detailed infor-
mation on flood studies.
Stormwater drainage systems involve many types of structures; thus, a number of
mathematical models (both hydraulic and hydrologic) are necessary to describe these
systems adequately. Facility types used in stormwater management include open
channels, culverts, storm sewers, pump stations, and detention basins, and various
software packages are available for their analysis and design.
Hydraulic software that allows for integration with CAD, GIS, and databases already
used by an organization can greatly facilitate the model-building process, the creation
of construction documents, and the maintenance of records on stormwater facilities.
Data that can be used in modeling stormwater systems come from a variety of
sources. The sources chosen depend somewhat on whether the project consists of the
study of an existing system or the design of a new system. For proposed systems, data
come primarily from surveys, site plans, and local design standards. Surveys take on
increased importance when modeling existing systems, as do site reconnaissance and
record drawings. Original plans and design calculations and structure inventories may
also be used when available.
References 49
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 1992. Design and Construction of Urban Storm Water Man-
agement Systems, New York: ASCE.
Dyhouse, Gary, J . A.Benn, David Ford Consulting, J . Hatchett, and H. Rhee. 2003. Floodplain Modeling
Using HEC-RAS. Waterbury, Connecticut: Haestad Methods.
Engineers J oint Contract Documents Committee (EJ CDC). 2002. Standard General Conditions of the Con-
struction Contract, Reston, Virginia: ASCE.
Haestad Methods. 2003a. PondPack: Detention Pond and Watershed Modeling Software. Waterbury, Con-
necticut: Haestad Methods.
Haestad Methods. 2003b. StormCAD: Storm Sewer Design and Analysis Software. Waterbury, Connecticut:
Haestad Methods.
Normann, J .M., R.J . Houghtalen, and W.J . J ohnston. 2001. Hydraulic Design of Highway Culverts. 2d ed.
Washington, D.C.: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 1992. Design and Construction of Urban Storm Water Man-
agement Systems, New York: ASCE.
Dyhouse, Gary, J . A.Benn, David Ford Consulting, J . Hatchett, and H. Rhee. 2003. Floodplain Modeling
Using HEC-RAS. Waterbury, Connecticut: Haestad Methods.
Engineers J oint Contract Documents Committee (EJ CDC). 2002. Standard General Conditions of the Con-
struction Contract, Reston, Virginia: ASCE.
Haestad Methods. 2003a. PondPack: Detention Pond and Watershed Modeling Software. Waterbury, Con-
necticut: Haestad Methods.
Haestad Methods. 2003b. StormCAD: Storm Sewer Design and Analysis Software. Waterbury, Connecticut:
Haestad Methods.
Normann, J .M., R.J . Houghtalen, and W.J . J ohnston. 2001. Hydraulic Design of Highway Culverts. 2d ed.
Washington, D.C.: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
A hydraulic jump is
formed in a
laboratory tank.
For a short jump,
momentum is the
same upstream
(left) and
downstream (right).
Energy is lower
downsteam because
of dissipation by