Conduits in #SWMM5

Conduits are pipes or channels that move water from one node to another in the conveyance system. Their cross-sectional shapes can be selected from a variety of standard open and closed geometries as listed in the following table. Irregular natural cross-section shapes and Dummy links are also supported.
SWMM5 Lnk Shape

Conduits are pipes or channels that move water from one node to another in the conveyance system. Their cross-sectional shapes can be selected from a variety of standard open and closed geometries as listed in Table 3-1.

Most open channels can be represented with a rectangular, trapezoidal, or user-defined irregular cross-section shape. For the latter, a Transect object is used to define how depth varies with distance across the cross-section (see Section 3.3.5 below). Most new drainage and sewer pipes are circular while culverts typically have elliptical or arch shapes. Elliptical and Arch pipes come in standard sizes that are listed in at the bottom of this page. The Filled Circular shape allows the bottom of a circular pipe to be filled with sediment and thus limit its flow capacity. The Custom Closed Shape allows any closed geometrical shape that is symmetrical about the center line to be defined by supplying a Shape Curve for the cross section (see Section3.3.11 below).

SWMM uses the Manning equation to express the relationship between flow rate (Q), crosssectional area (A), hydraulic radius (R), and slope (S) in all conduits. For standard U.S. units,

where n is the Manning roughness coefficient. The slope S is interpreted as either the conduit slope or the friction slope (i.e., head loss per unit length), depending on the flow routing method used. 

For pipes with Circular Force Main cross-sections either the Hazen-Williams or Darcy-Weisbach formula is used in place of the Manning equation for fully pressurized flow. For U.S. units the Hazen-Williams formula is:
where C is the Hazen-Williams C-factor which varies inversely with surface roughness and is supplied as one of the cross-section’s parameters. The Darcy-Weisbach formula is:

where g is the acceleration of gravity and f is the Darcy-Weisbach friction factor. For turbulent flow, the latter is determined from the height of the roughness elements on the walls of the pipe (supplied as an input parameter) and the flow’s Reynolds Number using the Colebrook-White equation. The choice of which equation to use is a user-supplied option.

A conduit does not have to be assigned a Force Main shape for it to pressurize. Any of the closed cross-section shapes can potentially pressurize and thus function as force mains that use the Manning equation to compute friction losses. 

A constant rate of exfiltration of water along the length of the conduit can be modeled by supplying a Seepage Rate value (in/hr or mm/hr). This only accounts for seepage losses, not infiltration of rainfall dependent groundwater. The latter can be modeled using SWMM’s RDII feature (see Section 3.3.6).

The principal input parameters for conduits are:
  • names of the inlet and outlet nodes
  • offset heights of the conduit above the inlet and outlet node inverts
  • conduit length
  • Manning’s roughness
  • cross-sectional geometry
  • entrance/exit losses
  • presence of a flap gate to prevent reverse flow.
A conduit can also be designated to act as a culvert (see Figure 3-2) if a Culvert Inlet Geometry code number is assigned to it. These code numbers are listed in Appendix A.10. Culvert conduits are checked continuously during dynamic wave flow routing to see if they operate under Inlet Control as defined in the Federal Highway Administration’s publication Hydraulic Design of Highway Culverts Third Edition (Publication No. FHWA-HIF-12-026, April 2012). Under inlet control a culvert obeys a particular flow versus inlet depth rating curve whose shape depends on the culvert’s shape, size, slope, and inlet geometry. 

Flow Regulators
Flow Regulators are structures or devices used to control and divert flows within a conveyance system. They are typically used to:
  • control releases from storage facilities
  • prevent unacceptable surcharging
  • divert flow to treatment facilities and interceptors
 InfoSWMM H2OMap SWMM InfoSWMM SA  can model the following types of flow regulators:
  • Orifices
  • Weirs
  • Outlets
The following Tables are copied from the EPA Manual on SWMM (Hydraulics) II


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