Our client needed to reduce environmental pressure on the receiving water – mainly the River Isonzo and Panzano Bay – due to releases from the existing sewage network and wastewater treatment plants, as well as to reduce management costs. They wanted to implement a solution for a revamp of the water systems. Furthermore, there was also a need for compliance with regulatory constraints.
The platform is based on MIKE Powered by DHI’s MIKE OPERATIONS and is mainly composed of:
Background of Italy’s water sector
In 1994, the Italian government embarked on a bold process to reform the Italian water sector by passing the Galli Law. The law aimed to consolidate municipal service providers into regional utilities and separate the provision of service from regulation, achieving cost recovery from tariffs and improving efficiency. As stipulated by the law, Italy's regional governments were required to define ‘Optimal Service Areas’ (Ambiti territoriali ottimali in Italian – also referred to as ATO) that would be covered by the new regional utilities. Each ATO would be made up of a group of municipalities.
Overhaul of the sewerage systems and wastewater treatment plants
The ATO ‘Orientale Goriziano’ is an area that coincides with the ex-Gorizia Province, comprised of 25 municipalities. There are five sewerage systems that collect both waste and storm water from 22 out of 25 municipalities in the ATO.
The overflow wastewater of the sewerage system and the wastewater treatment plants drain into the hydrographic basin of River Isonzo and Panzano Bay. To reduce the environmental pressure on the receiving water, as well as to reduce management costs, our client Irisacqua started to look into implementing an overhaul of the sewerage systems and wastewater treatment plants of Orientale Goriziano.
The revamp consists of the centralisation of three sewerage systems – Gorizia, Gradisca and Staranzano. IrisAcqua decided to plan an enhancement that would convey the wastewater of all three plants into Staranzano – and for the other two plants to be decommissioned. The wastewater from the decommissioned plants, Gorizia and Gradisca, would be directed into Staranzano, thanks to a low-pressure trunk sewer. Staranzano would then send the treated water into the Adriatic Sea.
Comparison between current state (left) and project state (right) of the sewerage system of the ATO ‘Orientale Goriziano’.
The importance of a real-time decision support system (DSS)
In order to coordinate this new and complex system, a decision support system based on MIKE Powered by DHI technologies was implemented. The DSS is able to support optimal management strategies according to observed and forecasted data in real-time. These management strategies include the possibility to temporarily store part of the water coming from Gorizia and Gradisca when significant meteorological events occur, and to direct discharges to Staranzano to reduce the spillway’s releases.
The system is a combined sewer which simultaneously collects sewage water from civil and industrial waste and surface runoff.
The platform is based on MIKE OPERATIONS and is mainly composed of (1) a central database for data storing, (2) a web interface for data and results publication and (3) an expert graphical user interface for the configuration of an advance management of the system.
This structure is partially similar to the operative systems already implemented in most of the Decentralized Functional Centers of the Italian Civil Protection Department. The platform contains many specific applications, such as the results of hydraulic simulations, the optimisation techniques and the tools for weather stations management.
Among these applications, the model MIKE URBAN (now MIKE+) is automatically executed in real-time to simulate the hydrological and hydraulic processes that characterise the system and to support the optimal management strategy on a case-by-case basis.
How it works
Our solution successfully helped the client achieve these outcomes:
Take a look at how the DSS played a part in improving the operations:
|Step 1: During dry season or light precipitation, wastewater is directly conveyed into the wastewater treatment plant before to be discharged into the receiving water. © DHI||Step 2: When necessary, the sewer system starts to convey wastewater into the intake tank, reducing the discharges into the wastewater treatment plant. © DHI|
|Step 3: In the case of increased precipitation, the system activates all the intake tanks, avoiding (or limiting) the spillways. © DHI||Step 4: Once the meteorological event ends, the wastewater in the tanks is conveyed to the wastewater treatment, according to cost reduction policy. © DHI|
IrisAcqua S.r.l. was established in 2005 as part of the water sector reform in Italy. The company's line of business includes the distribution of water for sale for domestic, commercial and industrial use. It manages the Integrated Water Service in Italy and guarantees the continuity of the service according to the quality parameters defined by the Integrated Water Service Charter.
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