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An Introductory Guide to Hydrology Using

WinTR-55

Prepared By:

Stormwater Solutions Engineering, LLC


100 East Sumner Street | Hartford, Wisconsin 53027
www.stormwater-solutions-engineering.com |262-673-9697

How Hydrology relates to Bridges to


Prosperity
Gather information from the
community on the highest river
height ever observed
Several assumptions are needed to
calculate the runoff and high water
elevation
Compare the observed high water
river elevation and that computed

Overview
How are runoff flows generated?
How WinTR-55 can be used to
calculate runoff/storm water flows

Overview
Section 1: Hydrology
Section 2: WinTR-55

Section 1: Hydrology

Sub-area/Reach Concepts

1/8/16

C
Reach 2e

ach
Re

1c

Watershed system of sub-areas


and reaches
Sub-areas areas
within a watershed
that generates
runoff
Reaches represent
watershed flow
paths (stream
http://www.wsi.nrcs.usda.gov/products/
channels)
or
W2Q/H&H/docs/WinTR55/WinTR55_exp_
users.ppt
TR-55 Tutorial structures
5

Reading Topographic Maps


for Tc
These contour

Section 1: Hydrology

lobes identify
divides where
flow splits left
and right

Contour V
points
upstream
Closed area
indicate a
localized
depression or a
high point
Possible
(peak)sheet
flow location
long, shallow
slope

Channel Flow
May be able to
disregard culverts
under roadways.
Boundary
indicates limit of
watershed ridge
of high points that
define flow
boundary
Possible shallow
concentrated
flow:
2 or 3 distinct
flow regimes
(slope)
1 calculation for

Section 1: Hydrology

Sub-area/Reach Concepts
Watershed - system of sub-areas and reaches
Sub-areas areas of a watershed that generate
runoff

- Flows/discharges into the upstream end of


reaches

Reaches or Routing Elements- represent

watershed stream flow paths or structures


Channel Routing elements - Stream
Reaches
Structure Routing elements Reservoir/Structure Reaches
Watershed Outlet - downstream
end of the
http://www.wsi.nrcs.usda.gov/products/
W2Q/H&H/docs/WinTR55/WinTR55_exp_
watershed (required for all watersheds)
users.ppt
1/8/16

TR-55 Tutorial
Typically discharges
to a reach

Section 1: Hydrology

Sub-area/Hydrology
Concepts

Hydrology is based on several factors:


The size of the drainage area.
The ability of the native soil to infiltrate water at
the start of a rainfall event, or capture otherwise
(infiltration + vegetation capture +
evapotranspiration = initial abstraction). This is
approximated in the TR-55 method by utilizing
CN (aka RCN), or Runoff Curve Numbers.
The time it takes for the entire area (or subarea)
to contribute flow to the downstream point of
interest (Time of Concentration).

Sub Area Concepts Schematics


S

Section 1: Hydrology

ub

-ar
e

aA

Reach
1a

Sub-area C

(stora
ge

2c g)
h
ac outin
e
R hR

ac
e
(R

Outlet
1/8/16

routin
g

B
a
e
r
-a
b
u
S

Legend:
Storage Area
Sub-Area Inflow Points

TR-55 Tutorial

http://www.wsi.nrcs.usda.gov/products/
W2Q/H&H/docs/WinTR55/WinTR55_exp_
users.ppt
9

Section 1: Hydrology

Determining CN - Soil Types


Based on Hydrologic Soil Group
classification
In the U.S., can be found at:
websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov

A = sand/gravel sub soils


To

D = characteristics of a wetland
Silt or clay soil, poorly drained

Outside the US, need soil engineer or local


info on soil types

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrologic Soil Groups

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrologic Soil Groups


From USDA:
Hydrologic soil groups are based on estimates of
runoff potential. Soils are assigned to one of four
groups according to the rate of water infiltration
when the soils are not protected by vegetation,
are thoroughly wet, and receive precipitation
from long-duration storms.
The soils in the United States are assigned to
four groups (A, B, C, and D) and three dual
classes (A/D, B/D, and C/D).

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrologic Soil Group - A


Group A. Soils having a high
infiltration rate (low runoff
potential) when thoroughly wet.
These consist mainly of deep, well
drained to excessively drained sands
or gravelly sands. These soils have a
high rate of water transmission.

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrologic Soil Group - B


Group B. Soils having a moderate
infiltration rate when thoroughly
wet. These consist chiefly of
moderately deep or deep,
moderately well drained or well
drained soils that have moderately
fine texture to moderately coarse
texture. These soils have a moderate
rate of water transmission.
Consists of sandy silts, silty sand

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrologic Soil Group - C


Group C. Soils having a slow
infiltration rate when thoroughly
wet. These consist chiefly of soils
having a layer that impedes the
downward movement of water or
soils of moderately fine texture or
fine texture. These soils have a slow
rate of water transmission.
Consist of silty clays, sandy clays

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrologic Soil Group - D


Group D. Soils having a very slow infiltration
rate (high runoff potential) when thoroughly
wet. These consist chiefly of clays that have
a high shrink-swell potential, soils that have
a high water table, soils that have a claypan
or clay layer at or near the surface, and
soils that are shallow over nearly
impervious material. These soils have a
very slow rate of water transmission.
Consists of predominantly clayey soils.

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrologic Soil Group Dual Groups


If a soil is assigned to a dual
hydrologic group (A/D, B/D, or C/D),
the first letter is for drained areas
and the second is for undrained
areas. Only the soils that in their
natural condition are in group D
are assigned to dual classes.
Can consist of peat, wetland soils,
clayey soils, or even undrained
sands/gravels.

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrologic Soil Group


Web Soil Survey

In the U.S:
1. Find Location
2. Define Area of Interest

From tool bar, draw polygon around project watershed

3.
4.
5.
6.

Soil Data Explorer tab


Soil Properties and Features
Hydrologic Soil Group
View Rating

1,2

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrologic Soil Group


Web Soil Survey Output

Soil Name

Group

Area,
Group
%

Section 1: Hydrology

CN Soil Type
210-VI-TR-55, Second Ed., June
1986...
Actual Technical Release (TR in TR-55)
Not a manual for the program, but the
back ground literature for the program
http://www.hydrocad.net/pdf/TR-55%20M
anual.pdf

Defines CNs for general areas


(impervious, pervious, etc.) as well as
select land uses.

Section 1: Hydrology

CN
From 210-VI-TR-55

Imperviou
s Area:
CN=98

General Land
Use
(based on imp.
area

Section 1: Hydrology

CN
From 210-VI-TR-55

Not all cropland


is created
equal

Section 1: Hydrology

CN
From 210-VI-TR-55

Section 1: Hydrology

CN
From 210-VI-TR-55

Some regulatory agencies require


comparison to pre-developed conditions.
Pre-development
Or pre-European settlement

Some restrict the CNs in pre-developed


models to pasture or meadow
This can artificially lower the CN (less runoff)
compared to agricultural CNs

Section 1: Hydrology

Area
Either by CAD, or from Web Soil
Survey, or estimated.
Area of individual sub-watersheds,
composite areas, or by similar CN
Commonly, areas are divided by sub
watershed, or areas with same Time
of Concentration

Section 1: Hydrology

Composite CN
WinTR-55 does this for you!

For use when adding areas (A) with


different CNs.
Composite CN=(Ai*CNi)/(Ai)
Example:

residential
industrial
native scrub
15% imp
85% native
farm (SR)

Area (A)
Acres
51
51
172
9
50
1,180
1,513

sum

CN
83
91
65
98
65
85
sum

Composit
e

A*CN
4,242
4,631
11,209
858
3,223
100,286
124,448
82

Section 1: Hydrology

Storm Data
From 210-VI-TR-55
Generally, there are 4 standard rainfall
distributions within the US.
The highest peak discharges
from small watersheds in the
United States are usually caused
by intense, brief rainfalls that
may occur as distinct events or
as part of a longer storm. These
intense rainstorms do not usually
extended over a large area and
intensities vary greatly. One
common practice in rainfall-runoff
analysis is to develop a synthetic
rainfall distribution to use in lieu
of actual storm events (B-1).

Section 1: Hydrology

Storm Data
From 210-VI-TR-55

Section 1: Hydrology

Time of Concentration (Tc)


Based on longest hydraulic path of
watershed or sub-watershed.
3 (actually 4) different types of water
flow:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Sheet Flow
Shallow Concentrated
Ditch
Pipe (not modeled in some programs, such as WinTR-55)

Add all individual flow segments for Tc

Section 1: Hydrology

Longest Path
Once the rain that falls on the furthest (time)
point from the discharge, the entire watershed
is assumed to be reaching the outfall. This
can help define the peak of the hydrograph.
The longest hydraulic path used when
analyzing times of concentration typically
start at either the high point in the subwatershed or a long, flat area.
Sheet flow will typically control maximize
length at shallow slope.

Section 1: Hydrology

Longest Path Minimum Time


From 210-VI-TR-55
Regardless of Longest Path Tc calculations,
The minimum Tc used in TR-55 is 0.1 hour
(page 3-4).
In large watersheds this constraint will
probably not be an issue.
This constraint may be an issue when
modeling smaller or highly impervious areas.
This minimum Tc is also typically applied to
Rational Method calculations for storm sewer
sizing

Section 1: Hydrology

Sheet Flow
From 210-VI-TR-55

Sheet flow is flow over plane surfaces


Typically short (100 feet, maximum), and
can be restricted to lower lengths by regulatory
agencies (or by WinTR-55)

Professional judgment needed for


end conditions

Section 1: Hydrology

Sheet Flow
From WinTR-55 FAQs
Is there any way to increase the sheet flow length
beyond 100 feet [in WinTR-55]?
No. After much discussion and research, the
development team felt that sheet flow greater than
100 was very unusual in natural watersheds. For
more information on the subject read W.H. Merkels
References on Time of Concentration with Respect
to Sheet Flow as posted in Technical References
and H&H Papers on Various Topics,
http://www.wsi.nrcs.usda.gov/products/W2Q/H&H/To
ols_Models/WinTR55.html in the USDA-NRCS West
National Technology Support Center website.

Section 1: Hydrology

Sheet Flow
From 210-VI-TR-55

The range of mean depth is 0.002' for


paved areas to 0.02' for vegetated
areas.
Sheet flow Manning's n values are for
very shallow flow depths.
It is important to note that, particularly
for unpaved surfaces, these friction
factors are different than those
traditionally used for channel flow.
USDA, TECHNICAL NOTE N0.

Section 1: Hydrology

Sheet Flow Mannings


From 210-VI-TR-55

Section 1: Hydrology

Shallow concentrated flow


From 210-VI-TR-55
After a maximum of 300
feet, sheet flow usually
becomes shallow
concentrated flow.
Determine Velocity
Determine segment
Travel Time (Tt)
By equation:
V=20.3252*(s0.5) [paved]
V=16.1345*(s0.5) [unpaved]

Tt=Length/V

Section 1: Hydrology

Channel and Pipe Flow


From 210-VI-TR-55
Typically non-pressure
flow is assumed for
pipes and culverts
(WinTR-55 does not
calculate pressure flow)

Use standard equations


for open channel flow
Determine Velocity
Determine segment
Travel Time (Tt)
Tt=Length/V

Reading Topographic Maps


for Tc
These contour

Section 1: Hydrology

lobes identify
divides where
flow splits left
and right

Contour V
points
upstream
Closed area
indicate a
localized
depression or a
high point
(peak)
Possible
sheet
flow location
long, shallow
slope

Channel Flow
May be able to
disregard culverts
under roadways.
Boundary indicates
limit of watershed
ridge of high
points that define
flow boundary

Possible shallow
concentrated
flow:
2 or 3 distinct
flow regimes
(slope)
1 calculation for

Section 1: Hydrology

What is a Reach/Influence
on Tc

Reaches - represent
watershed flow paths
(stream channels) or
structures
Generally utilized to
route one sub basin
through another
Reach C1 as shown
can also be a part of
the Tc for Sub Area C.

Section 1: Hydrology

What is a Reach/Influence
on Tc

In this scenario, the Tc of


sub area B is sum of its
times for sheet flow,
shallow concentrated, and
any channel or pipe flow.
The Tc of sub area B at the
downstream end of Reach
C1 is Tc(B) + Tt(Reach C1).
Reach routing is a crucial
step in runoff hydrograph
development

Section 1: Hydrology

Summary of CN, and Travel Data


Input Data
SUB AREA Residential

Industrial

Crop

Brush/Woods

Total (Ac)_

CN

83

91

85

65

141.49

28.41

247.83

103.16

520.90

81

0.00

0.00

547.64

2.24

549.87

85

0.00

0.00

194.71

153.99

348.70

76

0.00

0.00

75.27

100.20

175.47

74

Sheet Flow

Shallow Concentrated

Length

Slope

Length

Assumed High Pt

Drop

100

2.00%

0.24

2135

988

15

973

0.70%

100

2.00%

0.24

5691

988

50

938

0.88%

100

2.00%

0.24

2435

988

45

943

1.85%

100

2.00%

0.24

1421

988

20

968

1.41%

Channel Flow

Low Pt Slope

Length

Slope

XS

WP

6073

0.10%

0.07

288

100

0.10%

0.07

288

100

1907

0.10%

0.07

288

100

1598

0.10%

0.07

288

100

REACH

Length

Slope

Bottom Width

Side Slope

C1

3981.0944

0.10%

10

3H:1V

0.07

D1

2708.6144

0.10%

10

3H:1V

0.07

Section 1: Hydrology

Runoff Quantification
From 210-VI-TR-55

The Technical Report offers 3 ways of


determining runoff quantities:

Section 1: Hydrology

Runoff Quantification
From 210-VI-TR-55

The Technical Report offers 3 ways of


determining runoff quantities:

Section 1: Hydrology

Runoff Quantification
From 210-VI-TR-55

The Technical Report offers 3 ways of


determining runoff quantities:

Section 1: Hydrology

Applicability to Professional
Use

With limited input, computer programs can


automatically calculate travel times, composite
CNs, and times of concentration.
Some programs allow for fewer roughness
variables than provided in reference documents.
It is useful to manually calculate travel times,
composite CNs, and times of concentration for
easier review/verification purposes.
Most computer programs also allow a direct
input of these manually calculated values.

Section 1: Hydrology

Hydrograph Development
From 210-VI-TR-55

Hydrographs can be developed using


several methods.
Commonly used is the procedure
listed in Chapter 5 of 210-VI-TR-55
While each runoff hydrograph is
different, typically the distribution is
similar, only differ in time scale and
quantity of runoff
Dependant on Tc and CN
http://isddc.dot.gov/OLPFiles/FHWA/01059

Section 1: Hydrology

Model Outputs Technical


Basis

HEC-22, Chapter 8: Retention and


Detention Facilities, provides
discussion on hydrograph routing
through detention facilities.

http://isddc.dot.gov/OLPFiles/FHWA/01059

Section 1: Hydrology

Model Outputs Technical


Basis

Stage-Discharge Ratings for an Outlet is shown


Stage-Discharge-Storage Relationships that some
programs can present, just depicts another known
variable

HEC-22, p 8-40

Section 1: Hydrology

Model Outputs Technical


Basis

StorageIndicator tables,
and graphical
representation

HEC-22, p 8-40 &


8-46

Section 1: Hydrology

Applicability to Professional
Use

Computer programs are commonly used to


bypass time consuming development of
hydrographs and routing calculations.
A common benefit for computer models is
interaction of interconnected ponds and
development of hydrographs with data
points every minute.
Some professionals still prefer manual
calculation though it is wise to be familiar
with both.

Section 2: WinTR-55

About WinTR-55 (general)


WinTR55 is a single-event rainfall-runoff,
small watershed hydrologic model.
The model generates hydrographs from
both urban and agricultural areas and at
selected points along the stream system.
Hydrographs are routed downstream
through channels and/or reservoirs.
Multiple sub-areas can be modeled within
the watershed.
From Win TR-55
User Guide,

Section 2: WinTR-55

How to Download
WinTR-55 (Computer Program)
http://www.wsi.nrcs.usda.gov/products/W2Q/H&H/tools_models/
wintr55.html

Optional Additional Reference Materials


TR-55 (Technical Release 55)
http://www.hydrocad.net/pdf/TR-55%20Manual.pdf

HEC-22 (Hydraulic Engineering Circular No. 22, Second


Edition, Chapter 8: Detention And Retention Facilities)
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/library_listing.c
fm?archived=true
http://isddc.dot.gov/OLPFiles/FHWA/010593.pdf

FREE!

Section 2: WinTR-55

WinTR-55 INPUTS
General
User Name
Project Name
State, County (if
applicable)
Sub title
Area Characteristics
Reach
Structure

Area Characteristics
Sub-Area Names
Sub-Area
Description
Sub-area Flows to
Reach Outlet
Weighted CN
Tc (hours)
Area (units)

Section 2: WinTR-55

Composite CN WinTR-55
Click this
To get this window

Then enter acreage next


to appropriate CN

Section 2: WinTR-55

Storm Data WinTR-55


Program requires storm data entry
prior to Tc
Custom unit hydrographs and rainfall
distributions are also accepted inputs
USDA rainfall information provided
for all counties in U.S.
Will auto populate rainfall depths
Will auto populate rainfall distribution
type

Section 2: WinTR-55

Storm Data WinTR-55


Click this
To get this window

Section 2: WinTR-55

Storm Data WinTR-55

Select this button to


auto populate storm
data based on State and
County indicated on
home screen.

Or enter specific data


(as required by
regulatory agency)

Select rainfall type

accept

Section 2: WinTR-55

Tc Inputs WinTR-55
How to enter Time of
Concentration Data
To get this window

Click this

Section 2: WinTR-55

Reach Data - WinTR-55


Can model stream, channels, etc.
downstream of a subarea or
Click this
watershed
To get this
window

Section 2: WinTR-55

Putting It All Together


WinTR-55 Data Screen

Section 2: WinTR-55

Putting It All Together


Flow Path

Section 2: WinTR-55

Putting It All Together


Results

Section 2: WinTR-55

Putting It All Together


Results

Section 2: WinTR-55

Additional Tools

Reservoir
Routing

Section 2: WinTR-55

Outlet Structure- WinTR-55


A Structure in WinTR-55 refers to
structure routing elements
A reservoir/pond
A reach with significant storage and/or a
constricted outlet

Section 2: WinTR-55

Outlet Structure- WinTR-55


Unlike HEC-RAS, WinTR-55
does not have dynamic
routing capabilities
As a reach discharges, the
structure fills and begins
to discharge.
Eventually the reach may
stop flowing following a
rain event a dry ditch,
for example while the
structure may have only a
portion of the total inflow.
This may be problematic.

HGL

Groun
d
Modele
d
Reach

Modeled
Structure

Downstream
Reach

This condition NOT modeled

Modele
d
Reach

Modeled
Structure

Downstream
Reach

Section 2: WinTR-55

Outlet Structure- WinTR-55


Note culverts
and riser/pipe
combinations
are modeled the
same
Also, pipe invert
to spillway is
measured at
the pipe exit,
not entrance

Section 2: WinTR-55

Outlet Structure- WinTR-55


Click this
or Double click
this
To get this
window

Pipe or
weir?

Section 2: WinTR-55

Outlet Structure- WinTR-55


Double click
this

To get this
window

Section 2: WinTR-55

Reach Routing - WinTR-55

Assign the
reach to the sub
area

Section 2: WinTR-55

Reach Flow - WinTR-55


or click this

Click this

To get this
window

Section 2: WinTR-55

Run Model - WinTR-55


The model can be run for numerical
or graphical output
The model can be run for multiple
storm events (numerical output)
Errors may be the result of
structure overtopping i.e., the
structure outlet is undersized, or not
enough storage is available

Section 2: WinTR-55

Run Model - WinTR-55


Click this
To get this
window

Select rainfall
events, then Run

Section 2: WinTR-55

Run Model (output) WinTR55

Subarea peak
Reach (upstream)
peak
Structure
outflow is
same as
downstream
reach outflow

Peak
Reach
Flow
(upstream)
Lag (in to
peak
out)

Section 2: WinTR-55

Run Model (Graphical)


WinTR-55
Click this

Select Areas,
Select Areas,
storms, and
storms, and
structure
structure trials
trials
Then Plot
to get
graphical
representation

Section 2: WinTR-55

Model Outputs
Use the numerical outputs to analyze
peak flow, time to peak, structure
peak lag times, etc.
The graphical outputs can be used to
estimate time to drain a structure
(some communities require drain times
of 24 to 48 hours)