FlowWorks – City of Richmond Case Study

FlowWorks Makes Management of Collections & Treatment Plant Systems Easier for the City of Richmond

Owner: City of Richmond, CA

Primary Contact: Dan Duffield

Location: City of Richmond, CA

Engineer: George Elaro, Infrastructure Engineering Corporation

In 2014, the City of Richmond was introduced to FlowWorks  through working with Infrastructure Engineering Corporation (IEC) and their Operations Manager, George Elaro. The City was  intrigued with FlowWorks due to it not being flowmeter specific. The city utilizes meters from ADS, ISCO and Telog and wanted to be able to store all their data in one place, rather than having to be restricted to one software offering or system associated with one brand of flow meters or data logging equipment. The ability to include data from outside sources has also added to the value of the FlowWorks system. The City now tracks tidal data and influences by utilizing tide charts from NOAA. This level of flexibility and robustness allows for a more in depth view of multiple critical systems that now have a common platform to be viewed from.

The relationship has been so beneficial, that the City of Richmond is now working with IEC and using FlowWorks for more than just flow monitoring. They are utilizing FlowWorks to include data imported from their SCADA system, as well as with their treatment plant and pump stations. This allows them to create complex alarms and notifications. The City recently extended its existing contract with IEC for an additional 3 years in early 2015. FlowWorks has been pivotal in helping the City to bring data into one platform, keeping it organized with the ease of running reports and generating graphs. This has caused their day-to-day tasks to be simplified substantially. The engineering and management teams now have access to all the flow monitors in the system as well as the SCADA data from the WWTP operations. The ability to view both systems in one easy to access platform has made FlowWorks a very valuable asset in the City’s efforts to identify and plan future capital projects to remove inflow and infiltration (I&I) within the system.

The end result is that combined sewer overflow events and potential spills into local waterways are being identified by using a more accurate system with alarming capabilities to warn City Operations and Engineering staff of potential problems before they occur. The added benefit of getting an overall view of both the collections and treatment plant systems gives the City staff and operators better control during critical wet weather conditions.

“I feel that the use of FlowWorks offers near real-time data review of flow monitoring networks for decision makers to execute timely responses to critical events such as SSO’s. Also, it offers easy report generation for documenting these critical situations. It is a valuable budgeting and asset management tool with great flexibility and ease of use for multiple users.”

Dan Duffield, Source Control Inspector
City of Richmond, CA.


WEFTEC is only a WEEK away!

September 26-30

Chicago, IL

McCormick Place

Booth Number 4619

WEFTEC is the biggest meeting of water quality professionals in North America, with water quality professionals from around the world. WEFTEC provides the best water quality education and training available today. Be sure to stop by the FlowWorks booth to see how we can help with all of your environmental monitoring data.

Full Conference Info at: http://weftec.com/exhibition/page.aspx?id=207

Site Status Feature Enhancement

FlowWorks has just released a new feature that allows our users to view the status of any of their sites and shows the last time data was received.

To utilize this tool, you can find it under the “Monitoring” menu in FlowWorks or via this link: http://www.flowworks.com/network/sitestatus.

If you click on the link, it will take you to the login page (unless you are already logged in).


Once you login, it will take you to a page with all of your sites listed and you will simply check mark the desired sites.


Once you check the specified sites, you will click the “check site status” button.


FlowWorks will then provide you with a chart that lists the last time data was received from each site.

Instead of being concerned about when the last time a site reported, you now have the ability to quickly check and verify what sites are reporting properly and which may have issues.

Another Feature of FACE (FlowWorks Advanced Calculation Engine)

Details vs. the Bigger View…

Expenses such as battery life and communications charges can limit the volume of data you collect. But as a general rule, most users opt to collect from as many data points as their budget will permit. The more data points, the more visibility into the events being monitored.

To develop an understanding of the performance of their system and to report daily usages and volumes to regulatory bodies, engineers and operators often use collections of data over long periods of time. This can require the collected data to be input into a spreadsheet program, such as Excel, where formulae can be created to further analyze the data. This process can become cumbersome with new data arriving and having to repeat the Excel process.

By using the FlowWorks Advance Calculation Engine (FACE), the user can avoid exporting the data to Excel and take advantage of FlowWorks automatically processing newly arrived data as soon as it comes into the server.

The first decision you must make is which FACE function to use… sum or cumulative. The decision rests upon what you need as the output. If your only looking for the total of the data points within the selected time period, the sum function if your best option. However, if you also need the details leading up to that sum, use the cumulative function.

For example, let’s say that you have a rain gauge from which you are collecting data in 15-minute intervals and the data for an hour appears as follows:

9.3 Post 1

If you run the sum function to total for the hour, you will get:

9.3 Post 2

But if you require details that took you to that total, you can tell the cumulative function to total on an hour and you will see:

9.3 Post 3

At the hour point, both functions reset the accumulator to zero and begin totaling the activity for the next reporting period (an hour in this example).

Continuing with this example, we’ll take our Rainfall data from the Demo Site “Demo Rainfall US” and create a cumulative function calculated channel that will reset daily.

First you will create a virtual (calculated) channel where you will “load” the calculated data.

You will do this by hovering over or clicking on the Management button in the FlowWorks menu and then clicking on the “FACE: Configure Sites” option in the menu that will appear.

Click on the drop down arrow in the “Choose Site” box to see the list of sites that you have access to. Then click on the site from which you will be obtaining your source data.

To create the new virtual channel to load the calculated date into, click on “Add New Channel”. Type a name in the “Channel Name” box… We’ll use Daily_Rainfall for this example and then you’ll click the drop down arrow in the channel units box and select inches.

Leave “Calculated” as the channel type because this data is all virtual and whenever we need it for reports or graphs, it is calculated from the source data channel.

Next click on the Create New Channel button…

After an OK, we are back at the configure sites window and our newly defined channel name should be displayed in the “Choose Calculated Channel” box. If it is not, click the drop down arrow in that box and select it.

Now to define the calculation. Click the “View Calculated Channel” button.

If this calculation had already been created, we would be taken to the calculation configuration screen, but since we have not yet created the calculation, we will need to click on the “Create Calculation” button.

Here is where we begin to define where to pull our source data and what to do with it. We will take the large window in three “sections.” First is a little documentation. Enter a name for this calculation – like “Compute Daily Rainfall” in the description box (you will want to enter enough of a description that when you come back to this in six months, you would have some idea of what it was that you were trying to accomplish).

In the next section of the screen we need to tell FlowWorks what type of calculation we want to create. We do this so that we can specify the pertinent configuration parameters. We’re going to create a cumulative calculation, so click on the drop down arrow in the “Type” box and then on the cumulative entry.

If we wanted to restrict the source data to be fed into our calculated channel for a particular date range, we could specify that at this time. However, we’d like to use any data recording during the sites span of existence for the rainfall channel from this site, so we will leave the start date and end date options blank.

The last section of the screen is where we are going to accomplish the “work” of configuring our calculation. First make sure that the source site and source channel appear in the appropriate box on the line labeled “Source Channel”. If not, click the drop down arrow in the box that needs adjusting and select the proper source.

Below the source channel site and channel name boxes find the “Interval Length” box. This is where we specify what our new “reset period” is (how often to “empty” our running total and start anew). We want to report the rainfall for a full day, so we click on the drop down arrow in the “Interval Length” box and click on 1 day.

9.3 Post 4


You are now done proscribing the necessary configuration details for FlowWorks to create our new data stream, so you’ll click the “Save” button.

As you click OK and return to the view calculated channel screen, you can see that you now have a calculation displayed. [1440 is the number of minutes in 1 day – our new reset interval] and you can see that you are going to use the entire stream of available source data as our “Start Date” and “End Date” go from the beginning of the source data to the end of the source data.

9.3 Post 5


Now we’ll skip right to graphing the output and selecting the source site. You will select the Rainfall Channel and your new Daily_Rainfall Calculated Channel and you’ll get:

9.3 Post 6


The data that “fills” the virtual “Calcualted Daily_Rainfall” channel can be graphed (as above), reported, exported, and treated just as if it were data coming directly from your logger.

New Feature In FlowWorks

MRIT (Maximum Rainfall Intensity Tool) Feature Enhancement

We have just completed a new feature enhancement that allows users to quickly determine the severity of a storm event from multiple stations across your rain gauge network.

MRIT Feature EnhancementIt also adds support for comparing reported rainfall to a historical IDF curve and provides you with enhancements to save a report, including the layout and the coloring.