Measurements and modeling in sewer systems

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The urban drainage sewer systems consist of very complex networks that are widespread throughout the territory: the use of dedicated software, especially if integrated with monitoring systems, can be of great help in the management of phenomena that can cause significant drawbacks not only in the sewer system itself but also in the wastewater treatment plants.

Inflow and Infiltration in Storm Water Systems

The term “Inflow and Infiltration (I&I)” refers to all of those waters that can enter urban drainage systems, but which represent an unplanned and generally unwanted flow component, both for quality and quantity, in the sewage system; they can typically derive from interactions with surface water bodies and/or with the water table, but they can also have an anthropic origin.
Their presence inside drainage networks can cause hydraulic overloads and the inefficiency of the treatment plant, with damage and increased management costs.
There are several qualitative and quantitative methods to detect inflow and infiltration in storm water systems. In particular, in recent years an innovative technique based on the use of fiber-optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) has been introduced to identify the position of inflow and infiltration inputs.

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Planned activities within PerFORM WATER 2030

The activities regarding inflow and infiltration in sewers are part of the Water research line included in PerFORM WATER 2030. I&I in sewers studies include: the general analysis of the network of the Assago treatment plant and of the existing monitoring system, the identification of appropriate methodologies to find out and to assess inflow and infiltration, a proposal to enhance the existing monitoring system and the implementation of a dashboard for results visualizationdesign and construction of a pilot plant is envisaged, which allows to evaluate the technical feasibility of the process applied to urban waste water.

Objectives and expected results

  • Identification and quantification of the main flows in the sewage system related to the Assago wastewater treatment plant.

  • Evaluation of the applicability of new methodologies/technologies for detecting inflow and infiltration.

  • Smart visualization system by means of a dashboard to handle sewer system data and monitoring results.

Description of the activities

  • General analysis of the urban drainage system and the wastewater treatment plant.

  • Analysis and proposal for integration of the existing monitoring system.

  • Bibliographic research on traditional and innovative methodologies and technologies for the detection of inflow and infiltration in urban drainage systems.

  • Procedures to estimate inflow and infiltration in the analyzed drainage network.

  • Uncertainty analysis for different scenarios.

  • Implementation and development of a dedicated dashboard for results visualization.

Partners involved

MMI S.r.l. deals with the integration of the monitoring network, as well as the implementation and development of the dashboard.
DICA-SIA Department of Politecnico di Milano provides its scientific contribution to the deepening of techniques and methods for the detection and analysis of inflow and infiltration.
Planned activities are mainly to be carried out with inspections at the Assago wastewater treatment plant and its sewerage network operated by CAP Group.

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