According to the present state-of-the-art, sewerage systems, sewage treatment plants and their subsequent improvements are often planned and designed as totally separate entities, each subject to a specific set of performance objectives. As a result, sewage treatment efficiency is subject to considerable variability, depending both on general hydrologic conditions in the urban watershed (wet versus dry periods), and on specific “instantaneous” operating conditions. It has been postulated that the integration of urban drainage and wastewater treatment design and operation could allow minimization of the harmful effects of discharges from treatment plants, overflows and surface water runoff. This “ideal condition” can be achieved through the introduction of so-called “real-time control” technology in sewerage collection and treatment operations. To be a feasible goal, this technology poses the demand for more powerful simulation models of either aspect of the system - or, ideally, of a unified sewer-and-treatment plant model - than most of those currently available. This paper examines the requirements of rainfall/runoff transformation and sewer flow models with respect to real-time control applications, and focuses on the methodology of stochastic, transfer function modelling, reporting application examples. Modalities and limitations of the extraction of information from the models thus derived are also analyzed.

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