Software at the heart of model solutions

Newcomer to the American market, Wallingford Software Inc's fast mathematical and simulation processes are proving to be a vital prediction and decision-making tool for the water sector, as Tom Davies reports.

Wallingford Software Inc, launched in October 2001 and based in Fort Worth, Texas, has already recorded new sales and expanded its sales force. We asked Tom Davies, President of the new company, about their software products and the thinking behind this move to further consolidate Wallingford Software's presence in the North American marketplace.

Fast math and simulation
'The software is, of course, continually updated, so it also represents the best of the new,' added Tom Davies. 'The solidity of Wallingford Software Ltd enables us to maintain a continuous product development program, with regular new releases. As well as providing soundly based and fast mathematical and simulation processes at the centre of our software, we like to ensure that we also support the essential interface and housekeeping issues of the modelling process.

For example, we provide easy interfaces to the standard office software, to aid the productivity of the modeller. Our GIS interfaces are the same, making the modeller more productive. We also provide version control of models - not always appreciated as an essential part of the modelling process, but a lifesaver when a project team is required to produce quick results under time pressure,' explains Tom Davies.

The InfoWorks suite has specific modules to handle each of the three areas of Distribution Systems, Collection Systems, and River Systems - further examples of Wallingford Software's policy of covering the full breadth of the issues their customers address. For example, this applies to their approach to the increases in flooding, widely linked with climate change, and an important consideration in the US.

Sometimes the problem is caused by sudden summer storms, causing urban flooding, and the InfoWorks CS module addresses this collection system issue. Another flooding problem is that of sustained winter rain, and that becomes a river system issue, again directly addressed by a specific module of the software - InfoWorks RS. In fact, for flood management, Wallingford Software offers not only planning support, but also operational software that helps a control room manage in times of flooding and potential flooding. The system runs in the control room, puts together the live operational data with meteorological forecasts, and produces outputs for real time decision support to avoid or minimise flood impact.

Worldwide applications
The software is also proven world-wide. The case studies on the website show examples from Flood Prevention modelling in Japan and Argentina to sewage overflow and leakage reduction in Australia and Belgium - a reduction of 50,000 metres3 per day of leakage from sewers in the Belgian case study.

Wallingford Software Inc recently exhibited at AWWA, San Diego, the NEWYEA/NYWEA CSO/SSO event in New York, the WEFTEC Conference in Atlanta, and ExpoAgua at Leon, Mexico. They plan to expand their offices, and have already appointed more staff, increasing their investment in the North American market.

Recent North American sales include:

The City of Largo, is now using InfoWorks CS to investigate and minimise incidents of sanitary sewer overflows. A consulting company is evaluating the system and making recommendations to reduce or eliminate SSOs, using InfoWorks as the platform for an hydraulic model of the collection system. When the consulting project is over, the City engineering staff will continue to use the hydraulic model for on-going system evaluation and optimisation.

The City of Clearwater's use of InfoWorks CS is similar. It will be used first by consultants in hydraulic modelling to investigate and minimise SSOs, and then models will be handed over to City staff as basis of ongoing work in this area.

The engineering consultants for this work are Tampa Bay Engineering Group, Clearwater, Florida. Users of Wallingford Software's HydroWorks for a number of years, they have upgraded to using InfoWorks CS for their future collection system studies.

Tom Davies explains further the benefits of establishing Wallingford Software Inc. 'It's good to be bringing to North America software of this pedigree and engineering quality. I've been doing this for 5 years as a Wallingford Software Ltd distributor with AGT, but now with the new company, an integral part of Wallingford Software rather than a third party, we can do even more.'

'Perhaps the most important issue of forming Wallingford Software Inc is the clear benefits this brings to our customers in the medium and long term; they are now closer to the parent company and to the development programme of the product.

Wallingford's view of providing software for our industry is that a solid long term product development programme must be based on a two way process, with ideas coming from both the supplier and the user side. With the establishing of Wallingford Software Inc, North American customers and prospects are clearly an integral part of that process.'


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