Articles & Case Studies

Town of Carypicks InfoWorks WS to model its growing water network

Posted: Tuesday 24th July 2007

Wallingford Software’s InfoWorks WS has been chosen to play a key role in decision-making in the thriving town of Cary in North Carolina, USA. Engineers in Cary are in the process of introducing InfoWorks for use both in managing the water network and in planning a capital improvement program in line with the town’s water system master plan.

Cary is in the heart of North Carolina´s Research Triangle area and has been repeatedly ranked among the top regions in the USA for living or working. At more than 121,000 people and over 54 square miles, Cary is the state´s seventh largest municipality.

The town’s engineering department is responsible for the planning, design and construction of capital improvements to ensure continued provision of a high quality service with the highest achievable levels of customer satisfaction. A wide range of analysis and modeling uses are planned for InfoWorks in projecting future infrastructure needs and timescales. One application that is expected to bring particular benefits involves making better use of the information about demand that is gathered by the town’s water meters through InfoWorks WS customer points. “There is a straightforward function in InfoWorks that will let us take meter readings and assign them automatically to nodes in the model,” says engineering services manager Glen Harrell. “I intend using it initially for our annual meter readings. Then, within the next few years, we will be getting automated meter infrastructure, which will give us real-time data. We will then be able to update our demand distribution information throughout the year.” InfoWorks WS is the only product on the market that allows the user to integrate customer information with the hydraulic model. This allows the user to increase significantly the accuracy of the model without the need to increase model complexity. It also provides modeling results individually for each customer and allows direct customer notification in case of an emergency.

The town’s water system master plan and a water system model were initially prepared in 2000, and then updated in 2003. “We outgrew our older model and had to either upgrade it or get something different,” he says. The decision to switch to InfoWorks was influenced by independent recommendations about its modeling abilities. “We talked to various consultants that work with us and we attended an exhibition where one of them showed us their use of InfoWorks,” he adds. The demonstration was convincing both in terms of features and ease of use. “We found it very intuitive to use.” Another important factor was that the use of InfoWorks was consistent with Cary’s existing MapInfo GIS software. Time-consuming data transfer issues are avoided thanks to InfoWorks’ flexibility in data import, editing, management, updating, reporting and export.

As a new user, he has particularly appreciated Wallingford Software’s support, and in particular the rapid answers to queries that have enabled him to get started on the modeling straightaway. “It doesn’t take long at all to get a response back. I’m very pleased with the customer service,” he concludes.

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