Emerging and Innovative Technologies


395188 - Market-Based Real-Time Control of TSS across Large Sewer Systems

Tuesday, June 5
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Lakeshore C
Co-Authors: Nancy Love, 1351 Beal Ave, 183 EWRE, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 – University of Michigan; Branko Kerkez, 2350 Hayward St, 2044 GG Brown, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 – University of Michigan

We evaluate the performance of market-based control algorithms for the real-time control of solid loads across sewer systems. Specifically, we illustrate how large collections of pumps, in-line dams, and valves across entire combined sewer systems should be controlled in real-time to meet total suspended solids (TSS) setpoints. This is particularly meaningful in mitigating wet-weather impacts on downstream wastewater treatment processes, such as washout of clarifiers and disturbance to biological reactors. In many water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs, also called wastewater treatment plants), equalization tanks at the mouth are often used to attenuate these flow or TSS peaks before they disrupt key treatment processes. However, these tanks require significant space and financial resources to construct. Rather than relying on new construction, we instead focus on the coordination of existing sewer system-wide infrastructure, such as detention basins and in-line storage. Through a use case of a major Midwestern city, we illustrate that control of distributed assets across the system achieves a reduction in TSS spikes and reduces the variability of TSS loads going into the WRRF.

We simulate the approach by coupling a physical model (SWMM) with our open-source market-based control toolbox. Applying our toolbox to a real-world collection system, the performance of the controlled system is then compared to the uncontrolled system, as well as to the performance of alternatives, such as equalization tanks at the inlet of the WRRF. Initial results indicate significant promise of the distributed control of sewer systems for purposes of improving downstream treatment operations.

Sara C. Troutman

PhD Candidate
Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan

Sara Troutman is a Ph.D. candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Sara is advised by Dr. Branko Kerkez and Dr. Nancy Love. Her research interests focus on intelligent urban water systems and the use of modeling and control strategies to inform system-wide decisions. She received an MSE in Civil Engineering, Intelligent Systems, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI in April 2017 and graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC in May 2015 with Bachelor of Science degrees in Environmental Engineering and Mathematics.


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395188 - Market-Based Real-Time Control of TSS across Large Sewer Systems

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