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Monitoring and modelling of urban drainage networks

Keywords: numerical models, pollution, sewer networks
Fig. 1. CSOs impact for the Bologna sewer network (Authors: A. Bolognesi, M. Maglionico)
Fig. 2. Example of water quantity and quality simulation in an experimental catchment (Authors: A. Bolognesi, M. Maglionico)

Numerical simulation models for urban drainage systems have become increasingly important for both hydraulic aspects (design or verification of conduits and devices) and for environmental issues, with particular reference to the Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) impact on receiving water bodies (“first flush” phenomenon). The models reproduce quali-quantitative processes separating what happens in the drainage network from what happens on the basin’s surface.

Quantitative (hydraulic) aspects, may be outlined as follows: net rainfall calculation, surface runoff and flow through the drainage system conduits. Water quality aspects include: accumulation (build-up) of pollutants on the basin’s surface during the dry weather period, the mobilization and transport (wash-off) of pollutants due to rain, propagation into the drainage system.

In order to estimate the parameters required for a reliable numerical model, long and accurate monitoring campaign are recommended. Actually, monitoring activities are a relevant part in the analysis of quali-quantitative processes, as both qualitative and hydraulic data are useful not just for calibrating the models, but also to understand the studied phenomena.

Numerical simulations, either based on individual rainfall events (real or synthetic) or over long time series allow to evaluate the behaviour of the network and compare the effects of possible interventions in order to mitigate the environmental impact.

These effects can be controlled by inserting storage units within the network, whose function is of temporarily accumulating a portion of the rain event volume, and later sending it to the treatment plant or to return it to receiving waters. Larger volumes are required for the hydraulic protection (detention or retention tanks), while smaller first flush tanks provide a mitigation effects on pollutant spills. Ongoing investigations aim to understand the real operation of the reservoirs with respect to the simplified design criteria traditionally used in engineering practice.

Main publications

Casadio, A., Cipolla, S.S., Maglionico, M., Martinini, P., (2013). Numerical modeling of the sewer system of Rimini (Italy) and strategies for the CSOs reduction on the Adriatic Sea. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal 12 (S11), 121-124.

Ciccarello, A., Bolognesi, A., Maglionico, M., Artina, S. (2012). The role of settling velocity formulation in the determination of gully pot trapping efficiency: comparison between analytical and experimental data. Water Science and Technology 65 (1), 15-21.

Ying, G., Sansalone, J., Pathapati, S., Garofalo, G., Maglionico, M., Bolognesi, A., Artina, S. (2012). Stormwater treatment: examples of computational fluid dynamics modeling. Frontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering in China 6 (5), 638-648.

Bolognesi, A., Ciccarello, A., Maglionico, M., Kim, J.-Y., Artina, S., Sansalone, J. (2012). Can surface overflow rate predict particulate matter load capture for common urban drainage appurtenances? Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States) 138 (7), 723-733.

Archetti, R., Bolognesi, A., Casadio, A., Maglionico, M. (2011). Development of flood probability charts for urban drainage network in coastal areas through a simplified joint assessment approach. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 15 (10), 3115-3122.

Casadio, A., Maglionico, M., Bolognesi, A., Artina, S. (2010). Toxicity and pollutant impact analysis in an urban river due to combined sewer overflows loads. Water Science and Technology 61 (1), 207-215.

Artina, S., Bolognesi, A., Liserra, T., Maglionico, M. (2007). Simulation of a storm sewer network in industrial area: comparison between models calibrated through experimental data. Environmental Modelling & Software 22 (8), 1221-1228.

Freni, G., Maglionico, M., Mannina, G., Viviani, G. (2008). Comparison between a detailed and a simplified integrated model for the assessment of urban drainage environmental impact on an ephemeral river. Urban Water Journal 5 (1), 21- 31.

Artina, S., Bolognesi, A., Liserra, T., Maglionico, M., Salmoiraghi, G. (2006). Experimental analysis of first foul flush in an industrial area. Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (ISSN 1743-3541), Wessex Institute of Technology Press.

Artina, S., Becciu, G., Maglionico, M., Paoletti, A., Sanfilippo, U. (2005). Performance indicators for the efficiency analysis of urban drainage systems. Water Science and Technology 51 (2), 109- 118.

Research projects

Research and Consulting Contract with Aeroporto G. Marconi di Bologna S.p.A. (2015), "Numerical modelling of the sewer network of the Airport G. Marconi", Scientific Coordinator: Marco Maglionico.

Research and Consulting Contract with SMHI - Swedish Meteorological Office (2015): Urban SIS: Climate Information for European Cities. Unit Coordinator: Andrea Bolognesi.

Research and Consulting Contract with the Province of Rimini (2011), "Development of the plan to address the management of stormwater pollution of the Province of Rimini", Scientific Coordinator: Marco Maglionico.

Research and Consulting Contract with HERA Ravenna S.r.l. (2011), "Scientific support for the numerical modelling of the sewer network of the city of Ravenna", Scientific Coordinator: Marco Maglionico.

Research and Consulting Contract with HERA Rimini S.r.l. (2009), "Numerical modelling of Rimini sewer system", Scientific Coordinator: Marco Maglionico.

FP7-ENV-2010 TRUST - Transactions to the Urban Water Services of Tomorrow.