For nearly two decades, the Clean Water Project in Hartford, Connecticut has evolved from upgrading aging infrastructure and replacing physical assets with data collected on VHS tapes and paper forms to introducing intelligent water modeling and digital twin technology. The use of new smart technologies helps the team better protect neighborhoods and local waterways through real-time monitoring of sewer system overflows, further driving digital transformation in one of America’s most historic cities.
An overview of the Clean Water Project
The Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) started the Clean Water Project in 2005 to combat sewer system overflows and meet consent decree requirements set by regulatory agencies. These overflows occur 50 times a year on average during normal wet weather storm events.
MDC seeks to capture every single overflow in an average year by 2059 to improve water quality and provide a much brighter (and cleaner) future for Hartford residents. The Clean Water Project consists of several components, from rehabilitating 100 plus year-old infrastructure to separating storm and sanitary sewers to installing interceptor pipes for increased capacity. Each component follows different stages of implementation, from concept development to construction and monitoring, all while MDC strives to minimize overflow issues.
Embracing challenges with technology
MDC has a clear vision for the Clean Water Project, but it’s not without its challenges. The Clean Water Project has many moving parts, some with short-term objectives and others with a longer-term outlook. Constant movement makes it critical for MDC to always keep a pulse on the entirety of the Clean Water Project to continue progressing towards the end goal of mitigating sewer system overflows.
Like many future-thinking utilities, MDC and its program manager, CDM Smith, have embraced the use of technology to further streamline its program initiatives and make informed decisions. In early 2021, the team introduced new software to help digitize some of the manual and time-consuming monitoring and operational tasks, enabling the team to keep the Clean Water Project moving forward wherever they are.
Actionable insights through intelligent water modeling and digital twins
The Clean Water Project team uses a new tool called pipeCAST™️, a cloud-based software platform, to help with water monitoring and data analytics. PipeCAST integrates all Clean Water Project data, calculated according to current weather and precipitation conditions, and forms a digital twin to generate real-time simulations.
The pipeCAST data inputs include:
- Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) data
- Geographic Information System (GIS) data
- Hydraulic model data
- Rainfall/precipitation data
- Work order data from their computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) in the near future
"I love how pipeCAST can automatically pull data from our system and compare actual performance with model predictions. That seamless integration means we're able to gain a level of confidence in our data that wasn't possible before we started using the tool." - Jason Waterbury, Senior Project Manager, Hartford Metropolitan District Commission
PipeCAST helps the team track and report on large-scale rain events, ideally before they happen. The team can identify crucial fluctuations in system operations or performance by analyzing discrepancies shown in the digital twin. With pipeCAST, the team can pivot project activities towards more efficiently (schedule and costs) completing the end goal of capturing all sewer system overflows in an average year by 2059.
Schedule a demo today to learn more about pipeCAST.