System Integration & Control Systems Design

Water management from Siemens optimises flood control

April 2020 System Integration & Control Systems Design

The Erftverband is an organisation that includes municipalities, counties, industry and utilities, and as a public corporation it is responsible for cleaning private and industrial wastewater along the river Erft between Bonn and Düsseldorf. The organisation is also involved in ensuring flood control for residential areas. Heavy rainfall and storms create major problems here. In order to ensure optimal protection from flooding in these circumstances, the Erftverband relies on the intelligent control of retention and buffering capacities in the wastewater network. The technical components are provided by Siemens, who was also responsible for on-site implementation. The intelligent control system has been used to reduce relief discharge in the network, and to improve water quality. The pilot project also provided the basis for equipping other facilities with this cost-effective solution and controlling them in a network.

The increasing sealing of land means that sewer networks are quickly overloaded in the event of heavy rain. This does not simply lead to flooding. If the sewer system is unable to manage flow rates, untreated sewage flows into rivers and lakes, damaging the environment. For example, in July 2014 in northern Germany, severe rainfall caused considerable damage. In order to prevent these issues in future and to be better equipped for this type of disaster, the Erftverband has been working for several years in the catchment area of its 35 wastewater treatment facilities to incorporate a pioneering flow control system, the first of its kind in Germany. The control technology used is based on the Siemens Water Management System (SIWA).

Reliable operation

In the course of the project, 10 rain basins along the main sewer system with a total of about 40 000 cubic metres of retention capacity were first integrated in a combined simulation model and control tool using the SIWA Sewer network control system. This smart control system calculates optimum control strategies and enables simulation of sewer conditions during operation. For flow control, the sewer network inflow is calculated every 15 minutes using online radar data and radar forecasts from the German Weather Service. This data is sent automatically to SIWA Sewer via standardised interfaces. The system calculates and adjusts the relevant control parameters in very short intervals and transmits them to the control system for the pumps and flow regulators. A fallback strategy with six levels of failure and associated measures ensures a high level of availability for the overall solution, which has been running error-free since March 2016.

Water flows under control

The intelligent sewer control system has helped to improve plant operation considerably thanks to the reduced drainage times for the basins outside the treatment facility. But most importantly, there have been more than 50 recorded severe rainfall events with relief discharge in one or more basins since the new solution went live. With the control system, the relief discharge amount has been reduced by up to 85 percent per single event, while at the same time particularly sensitive bodies of water have been protected by directing the relief discharge. This success has enabled the Erftverband to add two more rain overflow basins to the control network, which means that since 2017 the system has comprised a total of 12 basins and a retention capacity of 45 000 cubic metres.


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

SCiBOTRON’s quality culture the key to success
May 2020 , System Integration & Control Systems Design
The company was founded on lean principles and quickly grew into a QSE (Qualifying Small Enterprise). Ricardo Paddy, managing director and founding member, attributes one of the reasons for the company’s ...

Siemens and Google Cloud to co-operate on AI-based solutions in manufacturing
June 2021, Siemens Digital Industries , News
Siemens intends to integrate Google Cloud’s data cloud and artificial intelligence/machine learning technologies with its factory automation solutions to help manufacturers innovate for the future.

Visualisation using vision-specific controls
June 2021, Beckhoff Automation , System Integration & Control Systems Design
TwinCAT Vision combined with TwinCAT HMI.

Modularity boosts performance
June 2021, SEW-Eurodrive , System Integration & Control Systems Design
Integrated technologies automate, upgrade and streamline existing production processes, while still allowing for future technology to be incorporated.

Changing negative attitudes towards alarms
June 2021, Omniflex Remote Monitoring Specialists , System Integration & Control Systems Design
Why technology is only as good as the people using it.

Siemens expands CFD simulations
June 2021, Siemens Digital Industries , IT in Manufacturing
Siemens’ Simcenter portfolio expands capabilities for frontloading computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation and increased productivity.

New motors extend the Sinamics S210 system
June 2021, Siemens Digital Industries , Motion Control & Drives
Siemens has added new servo motors to its proven Sinamics S210 single-cable servo drive system, thereby expanding its range of applications.

Water 4.0 for Botswana
April 2021, Siemens Digital Industries , News
Thanks to automation and electrical engineering from Siemens Solution Partner Moreflow, a new water treatment plant delivers 11 million litres of this precious resource every day.

Smart traffic management for Syntell
April 2021 , System Integration & Control Systems Design
Syntell is a leading South African technology company. One of its key projects is the running and management of one third of Johannesburg’s traffic lights. Syntell’s system is a full traffic management ...

PCS Global implements 5-phase control system upgrade at Kiara Health
May 2021, PCS Global , System Integration & Control Systems Design
Kiara Health is the first African company equipped with a fully-scaled server deployment in the AWS Cloud, as well as the first South African company to implement the AVEVA Flex Model.