Mar. 31, 2017 Forester Daily News

Computer Simulations for Stormwater Management and Design

Computer Simulations for Stormwater Management and Design

Computer simulations for stormwater management and design make it possible to try out new ideas without the risk of disrupting communities or ecosystems, to evaluate how a watershed would respond to acts of nature or engineering. Jeff Shiner believes computer modeling gives engineers and decision makers a set of powerful tools to make better decisions for the wellbeing of the community and the health of the watershed. They also make it possible to envision nature’s potential for good or for ill, and to be ready before extraordinary events occur.

Shiner, a civil engineer with the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) in Missouri, notes that MSD has developed an ongoing relationship with the software provider Vieux & Associates to perform important computer modeling tasks for its stormwater program. According to Shiner, the company’s RainVieux software is a workhorse of the stormwater program. The agency uses the software package to obtain the highly accurate rainfall data it needs for planning. RainVieux computationally combines radar rainfall data with rain gauge measurements tabulated by instruments the county MSD owns and operates. The application allows users to download, display, and query rainfall in near real time.

Using RainVieux, MSD crosschecks its rain gauges against radar data and receives bias-corrected rainfall reports on a daily basis. This allows managers to pinpoint, repair, replace, or calibrate any malfunctioning or errant rain gauges whose readings fall outside the bounds of probability, ensuring data that are as accurate as possible.

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