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Evaluation of operational strategies for sewer flooding based on failure data

Author: Ten Veldhuis, J.A.E. · Dirksen, J. · Clemens, F.H.L.R.
Faculty:Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Department:Water Management
Type:Article in monograph or in proceedings
Publisher: AWWA
Source:LESAM 2009: 3rd Leading edge Conference on Strategic Asset Management, Miami, USA, 11-13 November 2009
Rights: (c) 2009 The Author(s) · AWWA


Data from call centres at two municipalities were analysed in order to quantify flooding frequencies and associated flood risks for three main failure mechanisms causing urban flooding. The aim was to find out whether current operational strategies are efficient for flood prevention and if directions for improvement could be found. The results show that quantified flood risk for the two cases is well above the standard which is defined in sewer management plans. The analysis pointed out that gully pot blockages are the main cause of flooding and handling gully pot blockages should therefore be a priority for sewer operators. Reactive handling of calls, as is currently applied, is inefficient if all calls are reacted upon since a small portion of all calls report serious consequences like flooding in buildings or wastewater flooding. Preventive cleaning of sewer pipes proves to be an efficient strategy to reduce flooding due to sewer blockages as flood risk associated with sewer blockages is lower in case of higher cleaning sewer frequencies. Sewer blockages often have serious consequences, thus preventive handling is to be preferred to reactive cleaning. According to the results of this analysis, reduction of flooding sewer overloading is not of primary concern, because serious consequences for this failure mechanism are rare compared to other failure mechanisms.

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