CityWater

What We Learned at the 2018 Aquaveo User Conference

Aquaveo held its first annual User Conference from October 16-17, 2018! It was amazing to get to meet so many of our users at once. We hope everyone had a great time.

For us, it was exciting to meet users from all over the world. We met users from the United States, Canada, Portugal, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Guyana, and Thailand. When asked why they came, the attendees said they came to learn:

  • How Aquaveo’s products can help with their projects
  • More of what Aquaveo has to offer
  • What Aquaveo is all about

In listening to what our users had to share with us, we took away a couple key items that you want to see improved in our software.

  1. You want modeling to go faster. We understand the demand to give results in less time is growing, so we will be looking at ways to make the process of modeling take less time and still be accurate. Some of the innovations added into Aquaveo’s software already significantly reduce the time it takes to complete a model. We hope to add more automation and tools to speed up modeling times.
  2. You need to be able to work with big data. More data is becoming available and you want to be able to use it. This means processing large files covering larger areas in more detail. At Aquaveo, we are working on doing this, including optimizing our code and adding new tools to work with large files such as lidar files.

We’d like to thank the following for participating in our user conference:

If you couldn’t make it to the Aquaveo User Conference this year, we will be having another one next year. Watch our website and Facebook page for future details. See you next year!

Converting a NET File to an INP File

Do you have an EPANET project you are wanting to import into CityWater?

When working on a municipal drinking water pipe network, EPANET is a water distribution model created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that is widely used by cities and towns all across the United States. However, not all programs can use the native EPANET project file format. Because of this, you may find yourself needing to convert the standard NET file used for EPANET projects into an INP file that can be imported into CityWater.

The NET file is a binary file format containing all the pipe networks information, including pipes, nodes (junctions), pumps, valves, storage tanks, and reservoirs. It also contains additional project and preference information used by the EPANET desktop application.

INP files are the plain text version of the NET file, and contain the same network information (EPANET 2 Users Manual, pp.128-129). The INP file format allows greater flexibility in how the pipe network is used, and it can easily be imported into CityWater and other programs such as WMS.

The first steps are to:

  1. Download the EPANET installation program (currently version 2.00.12) from the Environmental Protection Agency's EPANET website.
  2. Once the installer has downloaded, run the installation program.

Once the EPANET application is installed, use the following steps to convert your NET project file to the INP text format by doing the following:

  1. Launch the EPANET application.
  2. Open the NET project file in EPANET.
  3. Review the model to make certain the project is set up as you want it, including quality options and default settings.
  4. Select Export > Network... to bring up the Save Network As dialog.
  5. Browse to the directory where you wish to save the INP file.
  6. Enter the file name you wish to use (e.g., Filename.inp) and click Save.

The INP file can now be imported easily into CityWater as the base file for a new project.

Try this out today by converting your NET files and creating new projects in your CityWater project.

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Tracing Municipal Water System Flow

Contaminants getting your municipal water system down? Using CityWater to create an animation tracing the flow of water through the system could help resolve this.

Tracing the flow of water through a municipal pipe system can help with figuring out how quickly a contaminant can propagate through the system, and also figuring out the general flow pattern of water throughout the system.

Some of the biggest concerns on city water manager minds in the last few years are preventing contamination in water systems and figuring out how quickly a contaminant spreads if water system integrity is compromised. Mention contaminated water, and examples such as the problems in Flint, Michigan come immediately to mind.

Contaminants can enter the system many different ways, including through broken pipes or leaching off the pipes themselves. If the pressure within a water system fluctuates too much, even a small break in a pipe can pull in any contaminants in the area. Using a trace animation in CityWater can provide a baseline for how far the contaminant may have gone.

It can also be important to know the flow from a particular location to anywhere else within the water system. This can be used to determine how quickly a flush of the system occurs, for example, and it provides a visual way to show the flow instead of looking at charts of numbers. It could also be used to determine what parts of the water system will be impacted by the introduction of a new pump or tank.

A trace animation can be generated in CityWater by doing the following:

  1. Open the map for the project.
  2. Select “Quality” for both Node and Link Layers.
  3. Click on the Animate Layers icon at the bottom right (below the legend).

This requires that the Quality Method parameter is set to TRACE and the Quality Trace Node is defined in Global Options. To do this:

  1. Go to your Project Details page.
  2. Select the Model Options tab.
  3. Edit the Global Options to turn on the TRACE option and define the Quality Trace Node.

Try creating trace flow animations in CityWater today by going to the Aquaveo Portal. Use “trycitywater” as the username and password.

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Take Advantage of the Cloud for Engineering

These days, everything seems to be in “the cloud”, and for good reason. No more having to email or manually deliver a flash drive or DVD containing the documents or data. Having it stored in one online location accessible to everyone on the project makes everything more convenient, and makes it far easier to collaborate with others in your organization.

As an example a cloud-based application, you can use CityWater on the Aquaveo Portal, to access municipal water distribution data from anywhere using a modern web browser. One person uploads an input file for the model which can then be accessed by anyone in the organization.

Once the model has be uploaded, you and your colleagues can create multiple scenarios to generate alternate models. This allows quick collaboration for group planning of municipal water distribution projects. Feedback and comments can be made from multiple contributors to help everyone have their say. CityWater does all this while maintaining the integrity and security of the original model.

Your whole process becomes much simpler because the CityWater controls are designed from the ground up to scale from desktop to tablet to smart phone, all without removing any of the functionality. So, whether you’re in your office or out on a work site, the relevant data can be easily accessed with just a few taps. New and updated information can also be entered on the fly to make the model results more specific and accurate.

Because it doesn’t have to be purchased and installed on every computer or device, CityWater is much more cost effective. This allows the cost per user to be significantly lower, and your IT department won’t be burdened with additional work. The software behind CityWater is regularly updated, so anytime you log in through the Aquaveo Portal, you are using the most current version.

Try out the CityWater tool today by going to the Aquaveo Portal. Use “trycitywater” as the username and password.

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