Bentley's Water Resources Modeling Software Named No. 1

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Industry News
Bentley's Water Resources Modeling Software Named No. 1

by Susan Smith

Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced last week that its Haestad Methods product line has been selected as the No. 1 water resources modeling software in a national survey. According to the press release, the survey, commissioned by Bentley, was conducted across the readership of CE News’ Civil Connection, a leading civil engineering newsletter published by ZweigWhite. This follows on the heels of the People’s Choice Award that Bentley’s WaterGEMS product in its Haestad line won at the American Water Works Association Annual Conference and Exposition. Bentley is celebrating these accomplishments through special limited-time promotional offers.

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
In a webcast, Charley Ferrucci, vice president, Bentley water asset solutions, and Dr. Tom Walski, senior product manager, Bentley water products, talked about the survey, called the National Water Resources Modeling Software Survey. The reasons Bentley commissioned this survey are as follows:

1) to learn more about what attributes and functionality are important to those who use water modeling software
2) to find out what products they’re using.

According to the press release: The survey asked licensed civil engineering professionals employed by leading consulting engineering, survey, and construction firms and key public works departments, utilities, and municipalities about their software preferences in seven categories of water resources modeling software. Bentley’s Haestad solutions earned the No. 1 position – receiving up to more than three times the top responses of the closest competing products – in the following five categories:

• Water distribution
• Transient analysis
• Wastewater conveyance
• Stormwater networks
• General hydraulics
In the detention pond category Intelisolve’s product came in first, and in the floodplain modeling category the Hydrologic Engineering Center’s (HEC’s) product took the top position.

Bentley acquired the former Haestad Methods three years ago in August. Since that time, they have relocated the company from Waterbury to Watertown, Connecticut, where it is now located in a traditional New England mill building, keeping the “water” theme intact. “Haestad applications clearly compliment Bentley geospatial and civil solutions and the former Haestad users now have access to a wide range of comprehensive and interoperable software, as well as the joint benefits of the Bentley Select program and flexible licensing,” explained Ferrucci.

Select subscription revenue has grown 67%. Over the past year, Bentley has also had some significant wins, most in the U.S., but some in the UK and Australia.

The most popular solutions by discipline:
-Water distribution: utilities and municipalities use these tools to design new distribution mains as urban pops grow to minimize energy consumption by optimizing pumping strategies, assess system reliability under power outages or fire events, and evaluate flushing strategies during potential contamination scenarios among other applications. Bentley Haestad WaterCAD was the clear choice in this category. If you add our WaterGEMS products, 11% of respondents, it’s well over 50%. The EPA net is a free product distributed by the EPA, which is the second choice.

- Transient analysis: Transience can cause significant damage to pipes and equipment, risk the safety of utility operators and the population in general, facilitate the intrusion of contaminants and interrupt service. Using a transient analysis software product helps utilities and engineers to find trouble spots and determine appropriate mitigation and control strategies. Bentley’s HAMMER product is preferred approximately 3 to 1 over the next popular product.

- Wastewater conveyance: Sewer utilities and municipalities managing wastewater collection rely on wastewater conveyance modeling software for sanitary, sewer infrastructure master planning, overflow remediation analysis and network design and rehabilitation. SewerCAD was the clear choice and the second choice was the EPA product. SewerGEMS also gathered 8% of respondents. Fully half of the respondents use and rely on a Bentley Haestad product.

- Stormwater systems is software for modeling stormwater networks and helps engineers to cost effectively design pipes and inlets, analyze drainage and detention facilities, develop stormwater backup plans, perform water quality studies and prioritize the rehabilitation of existing systems. 43% of respondents use Bentley’s StormCAD and 8% use CivilStorm, about half the respondents in all. Second place went to the EPA product.

- Hydraulics: These are also called hydraulic calculators, generally simple applications that perform a range of hydraulic and hydrological calculations for simple elements including culverts, pipe and channel segments, inlets, and the two tough products FlowMaster and CulvertMaster are Bentley Haestad. Three quarters of the respondents use these products.

Bentley did not take the #1 position in two categories: first is Detention Pond Modeling, where they were #2, and in Floodplain Modeling they took the #3 place.

Tom Walski, formerly vice president engineering at Haestad Methods, and now senior product manager with Bentley, explained that his background is applying software as an engineer, therefore he takes the viewpoint of a user when dealing with programmers.

What’s important to users?

-ease of use is key. Writing software that thinks like a user.
-Interoperability – you can run the Bentley Haestad software from most of the key modeling platforms.

On the water distribution side, there was no fireflow analysis when Haestad was developed in the early 90s. “You may want to put fire flow loads on the system to see how it handles it,” said Walski. “If you have 10,000 hydrants in the old days you would have had to have made 10,000 runs of the model. with Fireflow analysis we do one run where we can analyze all 10,000 at one time. It has really simplified workflow for the engineer and helps to spot what’s important.”

Other examples of ease of use tools may include elevation assignment. If you have to identify the elevation of points of your distribution system or collection system or sewer site, you can manually go to a topographic contour map and for every point in the system manually interpolate between contour lines and type that elevation data in. Years ago, models that had 50 or 100 pipes and it was possible to do this manually. “Now we are going for much more detailed models with tens of thousands of points and trying to do this manually would be extremely difficult in a topo map.” Walski pointed out. “We’ve automated that step in our terrain extraction model. Another feature is variable speed pumping. With other software you generally have to tell the program what speed the pump is running at. With our program we stimulate the kind of logic that is in pump control and we determine what speed the pump should be running at so the user doesn’t have to go through these extra calculations.”

Another ease of use tool is for design and simulation, a Scenario Manager for looking at worst case scenarios. “You used to need to create a new model for every run you made, every scenario was a new file,” said Walski. “We created Scenario Manager to keep track of various scenarios within a single data file. It is a self documenting Scenario Manager, so you run all these what-if analyses and come back a month later to ask what was the difference between two scenarios. The Scenario Manager can tell you what you changed in those two.”

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