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Introduction to USEPA SWMM. CE 572 - Analysis of Urban Water Systems Fall 2008. Topics to Be Covered. SWMM’s Capabilities Old SWMM v. New SWMM SWMM’s Data Objects SWMM’s Process Models Additional Resources. What Is SWMM?.

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introduction to usepa swmm

Introduction to USEPA SWMM

CE 572 - Analysis of Urban Water Systems

Fall 2008

topics to be covered
Topics to Be Covered
  • SWMM’s Capabilities
  • Old SWMM v. New SWMM
  • SWMM’s Data Objects
  • SWMM’s Process Models
  • Additional Resources
what is swmm
What Is SWMM?

SWMM is a distributed, dynamic rainfall-runoff simulation model used for single event or long-term (continuous) simulation of runoff quantity and quality from primarily urban areas.

hydrologic modeling features
Hydrologic Modeling Features
  • Spatially and time varying rainfall
  • Evaporation of standing surface water
  • Snow accumulation and melting
  • Interception from depression storage
  • Infiltration into soil layers
  • Percolation into shallow groundwater
  • Interflow between groundwater & channels
  • Nonlinear routing of overland flow
hydraulic modeling features
Hydraulic Modeling Features
  • Handles drainage networks of any size
  • Accommodates various conduit shapes as well as irregular natural channels
  • Models pumps, regulators, storage units
  • Allows external inflows from runoff, groundwater, RDII, sanitary, DWF, and user-supplied time series
  • Uses flexible rule-based controls for pumps and regulators
  • Models various flow regimes, such as backwater, surcharging, reverse flow, and surface ponding
water quality modeling features
Water Quality Modeling Features
  • Pollutant buildup over different land uses
  • Pollutant washoff during runoff events
  • Reduction in buildup from street cleaning
  • Reduction in washoff from BMPs
  • Inflows from user-defined sources and sanitary DWF
  • WQ routing through the drainage network
  • User-defined treatment functions
typical applications of swmm
Typical Applications of SWMM
  • Design and sizing of drainage system components including detention facilities
  • Flood plain mapping of natural channel systems
  • Control of combined and sanitary sewer overflows
  • Generating non-point source pollutant loadings for wasteload allocation studies
  • Evaluating BMPs and LIDs for sustainability goals
limitations of swmm
Limitations of SWMM
  • Not applicable to large-scale, non-urban watersheds
  • Not applicable to forested areas or irrigated cropland
  • Cannot be used with highly aggregated (e.g., daily) rainfall data
  • Its an analysis tool, not an automated design tool
swmm chronology
SWMM Chronology
  • 1971 - SWMM I (M&E, UF, WRE)
  • 1975 - SWMM II (UF)
  • 1981 - SWMM 3 (UF & CDM)
  • 1983 - SWMM 3.3 (PC Version)
  • 1988 - SWMM 4 (UF & CDM)
  • 2005 – SWMM 5 (EPA & CDM)
flow routing algorithms in swmm5
Flow Routing Algorithms in SWMM5
  • Steady Flow
    • simple hydrograph translation
    • applicable only to branched networks
  • Kinematic Wave
    • gravity force balanced by friction force
    • attenuated & delayed outflow due to channel storage
    • applicable only to branched networks
  • Dynamic Wave
    • solves full St. Venant eqns.
    • accounts for channel storage, backwater effects, pressurized flow, and reverse flow
    • applicable to any network layout
    • requires smaller time step
flow routing algorithms in swmm515
Flow Routing Algorithms in SWMM5
  • Steady Flow Routing
    • Actually just sums instantaneous subcatchment runoff for all subcatchments upstream of the selected channel
  • Kinematic Wave
    • Uniform, unsteady flow
    • No backwater, no surcharge, tree branch systems only unless flow splits are input
  • Dynamic Wave
    • Non-uniform, unsteady flow
    • Backwater, surcharge, looped or parallel sewers, street routing of flooded sewer manholes
surface routing of flood flows

Surface Gutter (NN)



Conduit (N)



Surface Routing of Flood Flows
epa swmm web site

the swmm users list server
The SWMM-USERS List Server

List servers provide a means for subscribers to get quick answers to questions and participate in discussions relating to the list server topics. Subscription is free, and subscribers receive all the e-mail that is sent to the list and can in turn send e-mail to the list.

The SWMM-USERS list server is a forum for users of the public-domain USEPA SWMM program to share ideas and ask questions on issues related to stormwater management modeling. A searchable archive of past questions and answers is available through our SWMM Q&A database.

To subscribe to a list, send an email to Do not put anything in the subject line and, in the body of the message, include the following line (with NO other text and no brackets):

SUBSCRIBE SWMM-USERS [first name] [last name]

For example,


swmm wrappers with gis interfaces
SWMM Wrappers With GIS Interfaces
  • XP SWMM – XP Software(
  • Mike SWMM – DHI (
  • InfoSWMM - MWH Soft (
  • PC SWMM – CHI (

1. Download SWMM5 from the EPA Website

2. Download the User’s Manual

3. Page through the Users Manual so you are

familiar with it

4. Look at the tutorial and be prepared to run

it in class on Thursday