Optimatics - Plan Smarter Learn More → O Real stories of dozens of cities avoiding millions in costs. Case Studies
Case Studies2020-04-06T18:35:02+00:00
IMPROVEMENT THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

Real stories of dozens of cities avoiding millions in costs.

CASE STUDIES

Optimatics serves communities all over the planet with the same goal: to optimize water and wastewater utility management, reduce costs and minimize waste. With these ideas guiding our path, we have ventured into diverse markets, each of which claims their own needs and expectations. One of the greatest assets of the Opimatics model is its impressive and irrefutable adaptability; backed by a legacy of innovation and the structure offered by Optimizer™, our revolutionary software, Optimatics extends to each and every client solutions that have been customized for each distinct challenge and the desired outcomes. The results are individualized plans that offer immediate relief from pressing problems as well as long-term, sustainable solutions.

At Optimatics we understand that often the best-laid plans from an engineering standpoint are not enough to get projects done with the variety of stakeholders involved. Optimatics’ intelligent, evidence-based results, drawn from years of real-world experience, give customers the confidence to make decisions and move forward quickly. Optimatics gives you the back up you need to easily explain the business case and engage and align all stakeholders. It promotes financial stewardship by linking engineering analysis with affordable strategies — shifting the conversation from “what does it cost?” to “what can we afford?” And, it ensures social and environmental expectations can be met as part of your corporate responsibility objectives.

    Optimizer™ consolidated data and examined various scenarios to provide the City of Henderson confidence in a defined plan of action. 

    Southeast of the Vegas Strip, West Henderson has been undergoing exponential growth. As a direct result of this growth, the City of Henderson required significant infrastructure investments to supply up to 60 MGD of water to the area. Options that were evaluated included new pipes, new reservoirs, new pump stations alongside operational strategies, and new valves plus their associated settings.

    The City of Henderson had already explored some strategies before Optimatics was introduced to the project. Optimizer™ refined the preexisting data which included an EPANET hydraulic model and, provided insightful analysis for 4 different scenarios, to give the City of Henderson the confidence they needed to move forward with community support. The area’s geography, existing infrastructure, and accommodating the area for its projected growth were all challenges Optimizer™ undertook when identifying the best performing affordable solutions.

    Optimizer™ was able to provide multiple solutions that were both transparent and unbiased. The analysis showed a 30% capital cost reduction than the previous estimate. As a result, Optimizer™ was adopted as the system-wide framework for future planning and updating current infrastructure.

      Optimatics considered all possibilities to provide solutions that would drastically improve daily life for the people of Coimbatore, India . 

      In the region of Coimbatore, 2.5 million people had been relying on intermittent tank fills to accommodate the entire scope of their water needs. Optimatics stepped in to help the people of Coimbatore adapt to a new system that would not rely on tanks and allow people to access their water supply, 24/7.

      Optimizer identified the location, alignment, and sizing of all transmission network components by analyzing different possible placements and sizes of water mains, tanks, and reservoirs. Optimizer’s metrics not only accounted for improving current conditions but have also anticipated the inevitable growth of the region. Six different scenarios were evaluated. The analysis identified a 15% cost reduction on anticipated capital costs that were originally estimated via a best engineering judgement approach.

      With the implementation of Optimizer, engineers were able to identify where the former transmission systems were salvageable and where to implement new assets to maximize efficiency. By providing and analyzing myriad possibilities, Optimatics was able to cut costs, develop an evidentiary strategy, and ultimately improve quality of life for the people of Coimbatore.

        Optimizer™ provided the City of Bend with the most effective solution to their demands for consistent water availability while reducing waste by zeroing in on the best strategies and deploying changes quickly and competently. 

        One of the most unique and fastest growing communities in American was confronted with a growing population and rising demands for water availability: how can public leaders address these issues without sacrificing service demands throughout the year and during seasonal demands?

        Fueled by forward-thinking leadership by the City, Optimatics’ Optimizer™ software helped provide the answer. Driven by the City and their engineering team, including Murray Smith & Associates, Optimizer™ was used to assess different strategies, examining simultaneously the hydraulic performance to meet service levels and the cost of all available alternatives. Optimizer™ put its algorithms to work to determine the most efficient ways to maximize the least costly source of supply (the City’s surface water) in combination with different pumping and rezoning options, as well as the best practices for operating the pump stations already located within the network to maximize water availability while reducing delivery costs. The resulting solution included options to restrict flow to key reservoirs during high demands to reduce peak transmission flows, adjust pressure reducing valve settings, and use lower-cost surface supply add control valves to force reservoirs to draw down during low demand periods.

        With Optimizer™, the staff at the City of Bend helped their community implement a system that not only can handle the increased water demands but reconfigure the network with new pumping stations and storage options at the lowest possible cost.  

          Optimatics worked quickly and with confidence to implement changes in order to satisfy new regulations and focus on sustainable solutions for South West Water. 

          As development continues at a rapid rate, utilities need to understand where new development can occur before they cause service issues.  To address this challenge, the UK regulatory authority, The Office of Water or “OFWAT” updated regulations that facilitates open-market expansion and brings focus to long-term sustainable solutions. The increase in development activity has also resulted in overtaxing the planning review process.

          Antiquated planning approaches that focused on local impact failed to address the needs of the entire system. The updated Ofwat regulations have altered developer pricing and its distribution, effectively spreading out development and upgrade costs among all developers. Optimizer™ helped to determine the capacities of the various networks and generated heatmaps that factored in projected growth.  Armed with this information, the utility is now able to identify where the networks are stressed to capacity, where growth is likely to occur, and where to focus investment to support development and economic growth. 

          The data drive approach produced by Optimizer provided the utility with confidence and unbiased evidence to support the feasibility of predicted developments, its needs, and its costs. Optimizer helped determine the limitations of the existing systems while simultaneously designing a plan for future growth and improvement. Optimatics’ processes tested specific “what if” scenarios to help determine best practices and investments based on a variety of inputs and desired outcomes. As a result, SW Water now better understands the trigger levels that can reduce required long-term strategic investment.

            Working alongside SUEZ Consulting & LYDEC Utilities, Optimatics helped design and construct a stormwater network from the ground up for a burgeoning development around Casablanca.

            The challenge in Morocco involved building infrastructure from nothing. In order to accommodate an enormous development, Optimatics was brought in to design a stormwater network with an estimated 300km of pipe to support a total discharge of 130 m3/s. As major development continues to evolve outside of Casablanca, the utility company Lydec has begun searching for methods to implement a completely new infrastructure that focuses on the stormwater network.

            The project allowed Optimatics an opportunity to enter infrastructure planning and design at the ground floor and ultimately achieve greater cost savings, efficient prioritization, and confidence that flooding can and will be mitigated as populations continue to increase. A hydraulic model served as the baseline information that was incorporated into the Optimizer platform. Options considered included pipe sizes, tunnel locations and outfalls to the sea.

            Optimizer™ helped officials determine optimal pipe size, alignment, and placement to match with road networks alignments, minimize costs, and facilitate projected growth. Through a multi-objective approach, Optimatics was able to recommend various plans for infrastructure creation, each of which met critical design standards and goals.

            Alongside knowledgeable consultants from SUEZ Consulting and guidance from LYDEC Utilities, Optimizer’s™ data-driven approach was used from the beginning to aid in prioritization and planning, giving the utility confidence that the proposed infrastructure would be able to accommodate future growth while also maintaining lifecycle cost savings.

              Optimizer™ offers simple, effective, and immediate fixes without requiring significant capital or time investments for Scottish Water.

              Faced with ongoing leakage reduction challenges by the regulator, Scottish Water looked to pressure management as a possible solution. Due to network complexities and level of service requirements, a trial and retrial planning approach could not support the need.

              Using the existing calibrated hydraulic models as input, the team was able to quickly evaluate multiple scenarios. Optimizer™ analyzed the valves and pumps already in place, and optimized their controls and settings which effectively reduced leakage without any additional capital investment.

              Optimizer™ was able to reduce leakage by 6-8% and still maintain adequate levels of service. This represents almost 1ML/day in reclaimed water for the study area alone. Pressure management has become a main driver for applying Optimizer™, driven by the leakage reduction targets directed by the regulator.

                By simply changing valve and pump settings, Optimizer™ was able to reduce leakage by 6.4% without requiring a capital investment for Bristol Water.

                Bristol Water required water pressure adjustments to accommodate leakage reduction in a network that has received significant investment in pressure control, going from 24% in 1988 to 60% in 2018. Water pressure needs change throughout the day with the normal, predictable ebb and flow of daily life. Optimizer™ was implemented to help Bristol Water determine how and when valves should be adjusted to determine appropriate pressure and usage metrics.

                Without requiring additional capital investment, Optimizer™ was able to develop a plan and schedule that optimized the coordination of valve settings throughout the day, enhancing the capabilities of the infrastructure already in place, and evaluated trade-offs between performance and leakage, all without impacting the customer’s level of service.

                The analysis has identified further opportunities for additional leakage reduction and significantly improved the process in identifying new schemes compared to the manual trial and retrial process that was used previously.

                  Optimizer™ considered every possibility to produce a solution that eliminated unnecessary maintenance costs for existing valves, thus saving WSSC capital expenditures.

                  WSSC was looking to improve the level of customer service and rationalize which pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) can be eliminated from a network without compromising service. Using a traditional trial and retrial method with a calibrated hydraulic model to determine the optimal setting for 11 PRVs is a virtually impossible task. WSSC needed the power of cloud computing offered by Optimatics to develop multi-objective scenarios quickly.

                  PRVs can be expensive to maintain and, as the demands and needs of a network evolve, are sometimes rendered ineffectual. With PRVs at multiple junctures, having multiple possible settings, Optimizer™ took the guesswork out of setting controls and valve placement to achieve maximum optimization while improving customer levels of service. Performance criteria included minimum and maximum pressure, maximum velocities, maximum unit head loss, and respecting tank water levels operational rules. Optimatics was able to determine that the system could improve service on only 8 of the 11 PRVs thus eliminating the ongoing maintenance costs for 3 of the PRVs.

                  The analysis led to further insights for future investigation with respect to investing in more dynamic control. The analysis was able to further understand how resilient the proposed solution was to unplanned interruptions.

                    By exploring a large range of options, Optimizer™ quickly delivered clear outcomes and higher quality returns in Macau.

                    Utility leaders in Macau, China were in search of efficient and holistic approach to renew their water mains systems, which had been in a responsive mode for years. There was also a requirement to prioritize the replacement of galvanized iron pipes in the plan. In recent years, Macau Water has made significant investments in data gathering and provided an opportunity to leverage the Optimizer™ platform to provide valuable insights.

                    The main objectives involved maintaining hydraulic performance, including level of service, pressure, coloration, and overall water quality, optimizing costs, and minimizing both leakage and negative customer impact risks. To determine the pipes and areas of highest priority, Optimatics identified the system’s most sensitive areas via hydraulic consequence and developed a plan for strategic renewal.

                    Optimizer’s™ multi-objective approach provided Macau with higher quality returns and a large range of options all with clear, solution-driven outcomes. Using the calibrated hydraulic model, historical leak and burst data, hydraulic consequence, and the pipe attributes, Optimizer™ was able to deliver a drastic reduction in leak rate and provide a repeatable, defensible and unbiased process to help make main renewal decisions.

                      Optimizer™ considered all possibilities to determine a cost-effective solution to a pressing water age issue for the community of Castle Rock.

                      Water age, a major factor in the deterioration of water quality in water distribution systems, is a concern for many water utilities. There are many factors that may contribute to increased water age – it is a function of system demand patterns, system design, and system operation. For example, systems with large demand variations between seasons may experience high water age in periods of low demand. Likewise, systems with large storages designed to meet anticipated future demands or to provide emergency storage may also experience high water age. The distance between the treatment plant and the consumer may be a contributing factor – for example, high water age may be experienced in a system’s highest pressure zones if the water must first be lifted through a series of lower zones; that was the case for at least one of Castle Rock’s high pressure zones.

                      The demand-condition considered was a winter day which represented a worst-case scenario for water age. Optimizer™ was linked to a hydraulic and water age model representing 7 consecutive winter days. Initial water age across the system was established by running 100 consecutive winter days until water age patterns in tanks had reached equilibrium. Decisions regarding water production rates, regulating valve settings, and pump operating strategies were considered with the goal of minimizing water age across the system.

                      Water age was improved in most tanks with a 35% reduction across the entire network. Optimizer™ was able to demonstrate that operating tanks through a wider range of water levels provided better water age performance. While the operational changes resulted in higher energy costs due to increased pumping, multi-objective optimization was determined the optimal and most cost-effective balance between lowering water age and increasing pumping costs.

                        The Optimizer™ platform, when combined with strategic placement and interactions, provided crucial tactics for green infrastructure for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

                        Faced with chronic urban flooding, including basement backups and surface flooding, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC) selected GeoSyntec to identify a viable solution. The study area consisted of 17 square miles and 493 catchments across 4 major sewersheds with 44,053 structures. A 5-year storm event would flood 58% of the structures while a 100-year storm would flood 93%.

                        Focusing on green infrastructure was particularly important to the community stakeholders; GeoSyntec planners explored which types of green infrastructure options were available to the community. Planner explored various options, including bioretention, pervious pavements, aboveground cisterns, belowground cisterns, green alleyways, and green rooftops. Using the Optimizer platform, planners were able to evaluate millions of combinations of green infrastructure strategies across a number of different scenarios. In total, more than 300,000,000 options were considered in a matter of days.

                        The results indicated that applying maximum Green Infrastructure options could result in a 3% reduction in flooding; however, when considered in conjunction with strategically placed detention, the flooding reduction results were similar but at 60% of the cost.

                          Optimatics employed the capabilities of the Optimizer™ platform to consider all possibilities and pinpoint the best possibilities for inflow and infilatration reduction for the TUMA Wastewater Collection System in Tulsa, OK.  

                          Optimizer™ was used for the TUMA Wastewater Collection System in Tulsa, OK. Optimatics worked with Tetra Tech to develop relationships for cost and reduction of inflow and infiltration (I & I) in the system based on field tests and previous implementations. The engineers used Optimizer to look at alternatives for I & I in the different catchments. They evaluated the Southslope collection system to design for rainstorms and eliminate sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) by balancing I & I reduction and capacity enhancements.

                          Optimizer™ identified I&I target reduction goals for five catchments that would in combination achieve SSO volume reduction requirements between 20% and 60% that were the most cost beneficial. The plan required 20% less capital investment than originally anticipated. Optimizer provided the capabilities to explore new solutions and balance the cost objectives.

                            Optimatics employed Optimizer™ to pinpoint a conveyance-based solution that not only met target levels for SSO reduction, but also exceeded cost-savings projections. 

                            Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky (SD1) saved over $20 million on the Lakeview project. The savings were roughly 50% of the original plan developed before the use of Optimizer™. By applying Optimatics’ software in the basin, SD1 arrived at a conveyance-based solution that met the target level of sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) reduction required under the consent decree.

                            Optimizer™ led to valuable insights and results in the Lakeview service area. Hazen & Sawyer was the consulting partner which delivered the project and achieved planned cost savings and improved environmental outcomes using Optimizer™. Using Optimizer™ allowed Hazen & Sawyer to explore range of new solutions. The multi-objective approach gave SD1 the ability to balance tradeoffs between investment and performance. The success of this initial pilot led directly to the use of Optimizer™ throughout the wider service area for CSO and SSO reduction.

                              The City of Minneapolis’s established infrastructure and large populace were influential and unavoidable considerations officials had to consider when tackling the problems of aging materials and systems with help from the Optimizer™ software.

                              With the growth of our urban cores and many cities undergoing revitalization in once-abandoned areas, flood mitigation is turning into a common problem. The City of Minneapolis has long known about its urban flooding issues. Mostly developed between the 1930s & 1960s, Minneapolis’s storm drain system was designed for a 2-year rainfall event. Today, at least 50% of the public storm pipes are more than 50 years old.  With a deteriorating system and undersized conveyance, the City had to address flooding in a cost-effective manner with minimal disruption to residents and business owners.

                              The City of Minneapolis recognized that proper planning upfront could save them significantly when evaluating possible solutions. The Optimizer™ software was used for three pilot studies to determine optimal solutions that would address citywide flooding issues. Solutions included evaluations of increased conveyance capacity, storage, and new linkages between systems.

                              Each pilot area was evaluated using several user-specific criteria including road flow, creek flow, max storage, and surcharge. Due to the age of the infrastructure in some areas, the existing pipe conditions were also considered when looking at solutions. Optimizer™ was used to run thousands of possible scenarios, identifying the most optimal outcomes for the City’s consideration.

                                The Optimizer™ platform provided combinations that allowed Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District to maximize benefit, minimize risk, and efficiently allocate their budget.

                                Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) provides wastewater, drainage and flood protection services to over 700,000 people in Kentucky, USA. In 2017, MSD released their Critical Repair and Reinvestment Plan, which identified a wide variety of projects with an estimated investment of US$4.3bn required over the next 20 years. The projects identified were aimed at improving public health and safety and address six core issues.

                                Once the plan was developed, MSD was left with the challenge of identifying which projects to prioritize each year based on their budget. Not only is the budget subject to change, but the projects also evolve based on business drivers, regulatory pressures, infrastructure deterioration, and customer needs. In the past, this project selection and staging endeavor required significant manual intervention and effort. However, Optimizer was able to automate much of the process and its algorithms found new combinations of options to maximize benefit and minimize risk.

                                Louisville MSD sought a tool that could help adaptively prioritize a set of projects to minimize risk and maximize benefit while meeting their yearly financial constraints. Optimatics worked with MSD and their consultants to apply a new Project Prioritization Tool (PPT) integrated with Optimizer™ to prioritize MSD’s anticipated $4.3bn investment of the next 20 years. The software is used each quarter to renew the plan and adapt it based on changes in projects, making it an adaptive and re-deployable solution for Louisville MSD.

                                  Southern Water was able to significantly improve levels of service and redirect valuable resources into other projects within the service area thanks to experts from ARCADIS and their utilization of Optimizer™.

                                  Nitrates are slowly becoming more of a concern in certain areas of Southern Water’s service, especially in conjunction with recent Environmental Agency (EA) acceptable levels. As a result, Southern Water’s planning team alongside experts from ARCADIS utilized the Optimizer™ Platform to analyze the problem and identify cost-effective solutions. The Strategic network study area was comprised of 118km of 150-700mm pipe with 13 reservoirs, 11 groundwater sources, and a major import from a neighboring water company. This network supplies 96,000 properties.

                                  Initial estimates included the construction of 4 nitrate treatment facilities, resulting in a large capital expenditure. Additionally, OFWAT had also challenged the utility to increase network resilience. The Southern Water/ACRADIS team defined a resilience methodology to identify appropriate risk drivers and determine the resilience response while allowing for consideration of a variety of interventions.

                                  Hazards to mitigate, such as floods, critical asset failure, contamination, raw water loss, malicious damage, and site communications, were evaluated for water supply works, service reservoirs, booster pumps, and trunk mains with varying levels of stress applied. Optimizer™ was then configured to evaluate various combinations of new trunk lines, new raw water supply lines, and nitrate removal plants. Resulting analyses revealed solutions that perform 50% better than the initial baseline design and cost 30% less.

                                    Optimatics designed Optimizer™ WMR to specifically address WSSC’s Water Mains Replacement Program, considering level of service, cost, community impacy, and efficiency.

                                    Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) provides water and wastewater services to approximately 1.8 million residents in the Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area. WSSC maintains approximately 5,700 miles of water mains. The incidence of water breaks is increasing as portions of the water distribution system are more than 80 years old.

                                    WSSC has a Water Main Replacement (WMR) Program to renew and extend the service life of its water distribution system. WSSC follows an asset management approach to assign priority scores to each pipe, considering level of service requirements and business risk exposure for an informed approach to prioritize water mains for replacement.

                                    Optimatics built a tool integrated with Optimizer™ to facilitate the WMR process. Optimizer™ WMR allows WSSC to evaluate a range of different replacement plans and compare their results for cost, community impact, efficiency, and remaining value planning criteria. Optimizer™ leverages power of cloud-based compute to explore new solutions and inform WSSC’s asset management process.

                                    Optimatics worked with Black & Veatch in applying Optimizer™ WMR to optimize the amount of “worst offenders” being replaced per year while maintaining an efficient project packaging strategy. The software considered tens of thousands of pipe segments prioritized for replacement, producing a set of optimal plans for WSSC to consider.

                                      Southern Water was able to significantly improve levels of service and redirect valuable resources into other projects within the service area thanks to experts from ARCADIS and their utilization of Optimizer™.

                                      Nitrates are slowly becoming more of a concern in certain areas of Southern Water’s service, especially in conjunction with recent Environmental Agency (EA) acceptable levels. As a result, Southern Water’s planning team alongside experts from ARCADIS utilized the Optimizer™ Platform to analyze the problem and identify cost-effective solutions. The Strategic network study area was comprised of 118km of 150-700mm pipe with 13 reservoirs, 11 groundwater sources, and a major import from a neighboring water company. This network supplies 96,000 properties.

                                      Initial estimates included the construction of 4 nitrate treatment facilities, resulting in a large capital expenditure. Additionally, OFWAT had also challenged the utility to increase network resilience. The Southern Water/ACRADIS team defined a resilience methodology to identify appropriate risk drivers and determine the resilience response while allowing for consideration of a variety of interventions.

                                      Hazards to mitigate, such as floods, critical asset failure, contamination, raw water loss, malicious damage, and site communications, were evaluated for water supply works, service reservoirs, booster pumps, and trunk mains with varying levels of stress applied. Optimizer™ was then configured to evaluate various combinations of new trunk lines, new raw water supply lines, and nitrate removal plants. Resulting analyses revealed solutions that perform 50% better than the initial baseline design and cost 30% less.

                                      SUCCESS STORIES

                                      Optimizer™ consolidated data and examined various scenarios to provide the City of Henderson in Nevada confidence in a defined plan of action.

                                      Henderson, Nevada

                                      Optimizer™ offered simple, effective, and immediate fixes without requiring significant capital or time investments for Scottish Water.

                                      Scotland

                                      By exploring a large range of options, Optimizer™ quickly delivered clear outcomes and higher quality returns in Macau.

                                      Macau, China

                                      Optimizer™ considered all possibilities to determine a cost-effective solution to a pressing water age issue for the community of Castle Rock.

                                      Castle Rock, Colorado

                                      The Optimizer™ platform, when combined with strategic placement and interactions, provided crucial tactics for green infrastructure for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

                                      Chicago, Illinois

                                      Optimatics employed the capabilities of the Optimizer™ platform to consider all possibilities and pinpoint the best possibilities for inflow and infilatration reduction for the TUMA Wastewater Collection System in Tulsa.

                                      Tulsa, Oklahoma

                                      Optimizer™ pinpointed a conveyance-based solution that not only met target levels for SSO reduction, but also exceeded cost-savings projections for Sanitation Disctrict No. 1 in Northern Kentucky.

                                      SD1 of Northern Kentucky

                                      The City of Minneapolis’s established infrastructure and large populace were influential and unavoidable considerations officials had to consider when tackling the problems of aging materials and systems with help from the Optimizer™ software.

                                      Minneapolis, Minnesota

                                      Making headlines by making headway

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