Heuristic Optimization Model for the Optimal Layout and Pipe Design of Sewer Systems

Joshua C. Steele, Kurt Mahoney, Omer Karovic, Larry Mays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The design of urban stormwater systems and sanitary sewer systems consists of solving two problems: generating a layout of the system and the pipe design which includes the crown elevations, slopes and commercial pipe sizes. A heuristic model for determining the optimal (minimum cost) layout and pipe design of a storm sewer network is presented. The hierarchical procedure combines a sewer layout model formulated as a mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) problem which is solved using the General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) and a simulated annealing optimization procedure for the pipe design of a generated layout was developed in Excel. The GAMS and simulated annealing models are interfaced through linkage of Excel and GAMS. The pipe design model is based upon the simulated annealing method to optimize the crown elevations and diameter of pipe segments in a storm sewer network using layouts generated using GAMS. A sample scenario demonstrates that using these methods may allow for significant costs saving while simultaneously reducing the time typically required to design and compare multiple storm sewer networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1620
Number of pages16
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Hierarchical modeling
  • Minimum cost design
  • Mixed-integer nonlinear programming
  • Optimization
  • Sewer systems
  • Simulated annealing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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