The technical design of urban drainage systems comprises two major aspects: first, the spatial layout of the sewer system and second, the pipe-sizing process. Usually, engineers determine the spatial layout of the sewer network manually, taking into account physical features and future planning scenarios. Before the pipe-sizing process starts, it is important to determine locations of possible weirs and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) based on, e.g. distance to receiving water bodies or to a wastewater treatment plant and available space for storage units. However, positions of CSOs are also determined by topological characteristics of the sewer networks. In order to better understand the impact of placement choices for CSOs and storage units in new systems, this work aims to determine case unspecific, general rules. Therefore, based on numerous, stochastically generated virtual alpine sewer systems of different sizes it is investigated how choices for placement of CSOs and storage units have an impact on the pipe-sizing process (hence, also on investment costs) and on technical performance (CSO efficiency and flooding). To describe the impact of the topological positions of these elements in the sewer networks, graph characteristics are used. With an evaluation of 2,000 different alpine combined sewer systems, it was found that, as expected, with CSOs at more downstream positions in the network, greater construction costs and better performance regarding CSO efficiency result. At a specific point (i.e. topological network position), no significant difference (further increase) in construction costs can be identified. Contrarily, the flooding efficiency increases with more upstream positions of the CSOs. Therefore, CSO and flooding efficiency are in a trade-off conflict and a compromise is required.

This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0), which permits copying and redistribution for non-commercial purposes with no derivatives, provided the original work is properly cited (