EPA Science Inventory

Storm Water Management Model (SWMM): Performance Review and Gap Analysis

Citation:

Niazi, M., C. Nietch, N. Jackson, B. Bennett, M. Maghrebi, M. Tryby, AND A. Massoudieh. Storm Water Management Model (SWMM): Performance Review and Gap Analysis. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), New York, NY, 3(2):04017002 1-32, (2017). https://doi.org/10.1061/JSWBAY.0000817

Description:

The Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) is a widely used tool for urban drainage design and planning. Hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings have been written describing applications of SWMM. This review focused on collecting information on model performance with respect to calibration and validation in the peer-reviewed literature. The major developmental history and applications of the model are also presented. The results provide utility to others looking for a quick reference to gauge the integrity of their own unique SWMM application. A gap analysis assessed the models’ ability to perform water quality simulations considering green infrastructure (GI)/Low Impact Development (LID) designs and effectiveness. We conclude that the level of detail underlying the conceptual model of SWMM versus its overall computational parsimony is well balanced - making it an adequate model for large and medium-scale hydrologic applications. However, embedding a new mechanistic algorithm or providing user guidance for coupling with other models will be necessary in order to realistically simulate diffuse pollutant sources, their fate and transport, and the effectiveness of GI/LID implementation scenarios.

Purpose/Objective:

Our search of the peer-reviewed scientific literature and evaluation of the over 150 articles returned that use the SWMM model to help solve water management issues in urban environments highlights the relevance of the model to drainage design and planning. Our analysis focused on reporting model performance data for both hydrologic and water quality endpoints. From the articles reviewed we extracted relevant information on sensitive parameters, calibration methods, and statistical results as well as validation statistics.It fosters end-user ease of use that have made it one of the most widely used models for water management in the world. It performs better simulations of hydrologic endpoints compared to water quality constituents, but we describe how the later could be improved upon by relatively simple embedded component additions or with a model run in parallel. The focus for SWMM improvement over the next few years should be placed on developing and validating methods of integrating LID/GI alternatives in terms of hydrologic continuity and water quality management.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 05/08/2017
Completion Date: 05/08/2017
Record Last Revised: 04/16/2018
Record Created: 01/10/2018
Record Released: 01/10/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 339313

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

WATER SYSTEMS DIVISION

WATERSHED MANAGEMENT BRANCH