What's new in CivilStorm CONNECT Edition

  Product(s): CivilStorm


The CONNECT Edition release of CivilStorm introduces numerous improvements and features to help you be more successful. Let's explore each of these in detail.

Note: this article only covers the enhancements new to version and For information on even more enhancements new to CivilStorm CONNECT Edition, see:

What's new in CivilStorm CONNECT Edition Update 1
What's new in CivilStorm CONNECT Edition Update 1 (Build

Video Overview

List of Topics



Layout & Data Input



Usability Enhancements

Compatibility [Top of Page]

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows 10 (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows 8 (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit)

Compatible Platforms

  • CivilStorm CONNECT Edition standalone version does not require any CAD or GIS software to work. However, it can be integrated with the following platforms:
  • MicroStation V8i SELECTseries 4 (Note: MicroStation CONNECT Edition integration is not yet supported with this release)
  • AutoCAD 2016, or 2017


Wiki Platform Compatibility

Interface [Top of Page]

Ribbon Interface

A new ribbon user interface has been added to the stand-alone products.

A button has been added to the welcome dialog to provide quick access to the ribbon interface help documentation.

The application menus match the platform the program is integrated with. MicroStation V8i does not use a ribbon user interface. Therefore this release of the Storm and Sewer products will not use the ribbon interface when integrated with MicroStation.

The following article provides an in-depth look at the new ribbon menu.

Ribbon Interface for Storm and Sewer CONNECT Edition products

File and Help Menus

When the File tab is selected, the entire program dialog switches to display the File menu (ie. "backstage").

The Help menu and Database Utilities have been moved to the File menu.

Layout & Data Input [Top of Page]

Background Images

View and edit the path for background images

The Image Properties dialog now displays the image's filename and includes a Browse button to edit the field.

Improved background layer performance

Background layers are now loaded more efficiently so that less memory is consumed. This improvement is especially helpful when using multiple large files for background images.

World file support for background images

Some image formats support associated world files. When attaching a background image file that has an associated world file present, the image will now be spatially located automatically (ie. georeferenced).

The following file formats support an associated world file.

  • bmp
  • jpg
  • jpeg
  • jpe
  • jfif
  • tif
  • tiff
  • png
  • Gif

The World file extension is based on the image's extension. One convention is to use the first and last letter of the image's extension and add a "w" (eg. .jpg>.jgw). Another convention is to append the image's extension with a "w" (eg. .jpg>.jpgw).
When opening the file, the Image Properties dialog will automatically enter the coordinates from the World file in the editable  (Drawing) fields.

Bentley CAD file format support for background layers

The following Bentley CAD file formats are now supported as background layers:

  • DGN
  • imodel

New Element

This release includes a new element type; property connection.

Property Connection

Property connection elements are used to load sewer models based on data at the level of individual properties. This is primarily used with sewer models, but is still available in CivilStorm. This is useful when you have loading data provided for customers/properties based on metering, number of occupants/fixture units, or simply flow per property. Including all property connections in your hydraulic model is useful when there is a need to have a closer (one-to-one) match with your GIS. Being able to see all property connections in the hydraulic model allows you to get a more detailed view of where the individual loading occurs, rather than lumping many loads into one manhole.

Property connections are used for loading in the Explicit and GVF Convex solvers, but not the Implicit solver. Property connections support hydrograph inflows, pattern loads, or directly accept runoff as the outlet of a catchment. For the GVF Rational Solver, flow through a Property Connection must come from a Catchment. (Property Connection designated as the Outflow Element.)

Inflow/loading from a property connection element would typically enter your network via a Lateral link that connects to a conduit via a tap node.


The query "Property Connections not connected to Nearest Link" is now included in the Network Review Predefined Queries.

Automated Catchment Delineation

The new Catchment Delineation tool is a terrain model analysis system designed to find the catchment area with runoff flow path ending at a low point or passing through an inlet surface area. It automatically finds catchment boundary points for inlets, calculates catchment properties, and derives gutter network and gutter properties.

This tool allows you to create catchments inside CivilStorm based on a terrain model and interactively update them, without having to use an external application to do so.

Note: Bentley terrain model and its functions are used in running catchment delineation.

When the Run Catchment Delineation is selected from the Terrain Modeling Manager, the button for Catchment Delineation will be placed in the depressed position. At this time, whenever a catch basin is added or moved within the Digital Terrain Model (DTM) the catchment is identified or updated.
Selecting Catchment Delineation Settings from the Terrain manager opens the following dialog where the user can adjust parameters that control the catchment delineation tool behavior.


Calculations [Top of Page]

Pump Energy Costs

This release introduces a new Energy Cost tool which optimizes pump operations. With this tool you can now analyze the cost of operating pumps (by the energy used) during a single extended period simulation scenario.

The scenario energy cost analysis determines the energy cost by pump for all pumps selected by the user. Pricing for energy cost is set up in the Pricing button in the energy costing manager. Price functions are assigned to individual pumps in energy costing.

This tool works with all solvers that support pumps:

  • Explicit (SWMM Solvers)
  • Implicit (SewerGEMS Dynamic Wave)
    • This solver always assumes the Relative Speed Factor = 1 if the pump is on.
  • GVF-Convex (SewerCAD)

Results can be viewed in tabular format or graphed.

Depending on the selection, results can show data for a single pump or a pump station.

SWMM Enhancements

Updated EPA SWMM Version

SewerGEMS and CivilStorm CONNECT Edition build use EPA SWMM version 5.1.010. Build uses EPA SWMM version 5.1.012.

See: Wiki EPA SWMM solver versions used by SewerGEMS and CivilStorm

New SWMM Climatology Monthly Adjustments Table

The SWMM extension Climatology now includes the "Adjustments" tab. Checking the Apply Climate Adjustments box enables the Monthly Adjustments table, where you can define Temperature Constant, Evaporation Constant, Rainfall Multiplier, and Soil Conductivity Multiplier adjustments by month.

New SWMM Calculation Executive Summary

In previous versions, after successfully computing a model with the SWMM solver a large text file would be created and opened with an external text editor, such as Notepad.

Starting with this release, a new SWMM Calculation Summary window will appear, with better formatting so you can more easily browse or find results.

This dialog displays values using the hydraulic model's units. In prior versions, the results were displayed in US Customary units regardless of the hydraulic model's defined units.

New SWMM Calculation Options

The Explicit default Routing Time Step was reduced from 30 seconds to 5 seconds for better stability. The default value for Use Variable Time Step is now True.

The following two calculation options for the Explicit solver were introduced in this release.

The Minimum Variable Time Step is the smallest time step allowed when variable time steps are used. The default is 0.5 seconds. Smaller steps may be warranted, but they can lead to longer simulation runs without much improvement in solution quality.

The Number of Threads is the number of parallel computing threads to use on machines equipped with multi-core processors.  The default is 1.

The SWMM Default Infiltration Method has the new option "Green and Ampt (Modified)". This modified version of the original Green and Ampt method no longer redistributes upper zone moisture deficit during low rainfall events. The original authors of SWMM's Green-Ampt model have endorsed this modified version. It will produce more infiltration for storm events that begin with low rainfall intensities, such as the SCS design storm distributions.

SWMM Culvert Support

Culverts can now be modeled by the Explicit (SWMM) solver.

When exporting a model to SWMM the culverts in the engineering libraries will now be converted with their associated SWMM culvert codes. This allows the culvert to be recognized when the model is opened in SWMM.

The Section "SWMM Solver" has been added to the Culvert Catalog dialog. You can either enter the "SWMM culvert code" or you can click the ">" button to select the culvert from a menu.

New Roadway Weir

A new type of weir, a ROADWAY weir, has been added. It models roadway overtopping using the FHWA HDS-5 method and would typically be used in parallel with a culvert conduit to route bypass to the downstream node. This is available for the Explicit (SWMM) solver; with the Implicit solver, you can use the roadway overtopping weir option in the conduit properties when setting the conduit as a culvert.

The fields Road Width and Surface Type are specific to the Roadway weir type.

LID (Low Impact Development) Enhancements

New LID Underdrain Target option

The LID (Low Impact Development) element has the new field "Underdrain Outflow Element" which lets you specify an element that will accept underdrain flow from the LID.

New LID Control Type

Low Impact Development Control type now includes the option Roof Top Disconnection.

New Soil fields for Porous Pavement type LID control

A Soil section has been added to the LID control type Porous Pavement as shown below. This allows you to model a sand filter or bedding layer beneath the pavement.

Outfall to a catchment

The field "Route to Catchment" is now available for the outfall element when using the Explicit solver. This field allows you to specify the catchment to which flow will be routed from the outlet.

The following outfall Boundary Condition Types are supported.

  • Free Outfall
  • Normal
  • Tidal
  • Time-Elevation Curve
  • User Defined Tailwater

Improved Performance

Other general improvements have been implemented to reduce the computation time when using the SWMM Solver.

Structure Headloss Calculations

Starting with this release, the Explicit (SWMM) solver supports structure headloss calculations. Structures can now use the headloss methods “HEC-22 Energy (Third Edition)” and “Standard”.

Tractive Stress

When conduits and channels have sufficient tractive stress they are essentially self-cleaning in that particles will either not settle or they will be re-suspended if they do.

Conduit tractive shear stress is now calculated when using the following solvers.

  • GVF-Convex
  • Explicit
  • Implicit (Dynamic Wave)
  • Note: Previously, tractive stress was only supported by the GVF-Convex solver.

Starting in this release, tractive stress is included in constraint based design.


Help "Tractive Force Design"
Wiki Tractive Stress (aka Tractive Force, Shear Stress) Calculations and Design

Results [Top of Page]



The new Quick Graph feature provides a fast way to view a graph of a single element in the drawing. The Quick Graph automatically updates to display data for the selected element.


More meaningful steady state graph

If the current scenario is steady-state (available with the GVF-Rational/StormCAD solver) the default graph is a bar chart for the selected elements. Elements from different scenarios can also be added in the Series Options dialog. The Series Options dialog can be used to customize the information displayed in the graph (scenarios, elements, and fields).

"Select in drawing" in graphs and graph manager

In the graphs manager you now have an additional option "Select in Drawing" which is to the right of "Add to Graph".  When a saved graph is selected and you click this button it will select the elements that are part of the saved graph.  Any existing selection will first be cleared.  Only elements that are checked in the graph options will be selected in the drawing.


Engineering Profile Annotation Table

Engineering profiles now have the option to include an annotation table which is drawn similar to the analysis profile.

However, the displayed fields and field order can be edited in the engineering profile which makes it more customizable.

To toggle the annotation table display, click on the down arrow next to the Chart Settings icon and select "Show Profile Annotation Table" from the dropdown menu.

The annotation table options can be edited by selecting "Profile Annotation Table Options…" from this dropdown menu.

Profiles no longer save automatically

Profiles created with the context menu (right-click>Create Profile) are now temporary. When you close the profile viewer for a temporary profile, you are asked if you want to save it. When you select Yes to this prompt you will have the chance to enter a label for the profile.

Customizable Reports

A new Custom Report tool has been added to the Report tab. This tool allows you to quickly assemble a customized report which can contain user input, results, graphs, etc. You can now define the template interactively instead of modifying an XML file manually (which can still be done).

The reports can be exported to the following formats

  • PDF
  • HTML
  • MHT
  • RTF
  • Excel
  • CSV
  • Text
  • Image

The Report Options dialog can be accessed by clicking the icon below the Custom Report icon. This dialog allows you to control how reports are displayed (eg. font, header, footer, margins).


  • Help "Custom Reports"
  • Help "Report Options"

Record AVI video from time results

The AVI Screen capture enhancement allows you to record videos of scenario animations. You can select which portion of the screen will be recorded. The screen capture utility will capture and record all the frames of the animation within the bounds you specify and produce an AVI video file which is sharable outside of the storm and sewer products.

An internal video player allows you to watch the video after it is done recording.


Usability Enhancements [Top of Page]

Duplicate Prototypes

The Prototypes Manager now includes the option to duplicate prototypes.

Open on selection from within FlexTable

When you have a FlexTable open, i.e. Junction FlexTable, you can now select the rows in the table based on the current selection.

To use the feature:

  1. Select some elements.
  2. Open a FlexTable for one of the selected elements and click the drop-down arrow for the “Select in Drawing” button.
  3. Click the last item, “Select from Drawing”.
  4. If there are any elements for the type of table you currently have open, it will select the rows for the elements selected.
  5. You can then filter down the contents of the table by right-clicking the row header and clicking on “Open on Selection”.

Double-click on dropdown list to toggle through values

When editing data in the property grid you can double-click the label to change the value.  This applies to Boolean fields (those that show true/false values); reference fields (i.e. zone); and enumerated fields (i.e. Status (Initial)).  When you double-click any of these field types it will cycle through the available values in the drop-down list. Commands like “Edit” for reference fields are excluded during the cycling.

Option to auto-close the Calculation Summary dialog after computing a model

The Calculation Executive Summary dialog box opens after you compute a model. You now have the option to not automatically open the dialog after a compute by unchecking “Show this dialog after Compute”.  This option applies to all available solvers for the product.  This is a global option and once unchecked applies to all projects opened in the product.

The post-calculation summary dialog now allows you to choose if it displays after computing a model as seen in the image below.

This dialog can also be accessed by clicking on the Home tab and selecting the Calculation Summary icon.

New alternative features (recently added to FlexTables)

Some features that were recently added to FlexTables are now available for alternatives. You can now quickly zoom to an element within an Alternative dialog by either right-clicking on the row header and selecting "Zoom To", or by double-clicking on the row header. When a row is highlighted, pressing enter will select the next row.

Excel export option available in all platforms

FlexTables can be exported to an Excel file in multiple products (SewerGEMS, SewerCAD, StormCAD, and CivilStorm) and for all integrated platforms (MicroStation, AutoCAD, ArcMap, and stand alone).

See: Can I easily export my results to an Excel spreadsheet?

Inroads IDF Importer

InRoads IDF files can now be imported into an engineering library storm event group which can then be used by SewerGEMS, StormCAD, CivilStorm, or PondPack. This can be done as a batch process with an external tool or individually using the Storm Data dialog.

Maximum depth/rise property added to conduits to identify flooding/surcharging

Conduits now have the property "Depth (Maximum) / Rise (%)" which displays the ratio of maximum calculated average depth (average between start and stop) to the rise of the conduit.

CONNECT Integration

This release requires the latest version of CONNECTION client. If it isn't already on the computer, it will be downloaded and installed during the product's installation.

After the product installation completes, a CONNECTION client slideshow will display. This provides an introduction to the CONNECTION client, allows you to enter your login information, or create a new account if you don't already have one.

There is a new CONNECTED Project association dialog which allows the default behavior to be set. If you don't want the dialog to appear in the future, then select "Do not notify me again".

View Changes

The view can be quickly set to Zoom Extents by double-clicking the middle button on your mouse. For some, this may be done with the scroll-wheel button.

Toggle tap node dashed line display

When a tap is placed, a dashed line appears to show which link the tap is associated with. The tap element symbology properties now include a "Show Associated Link Decorations" field to control if this dashed line is displayed.

Added support for DGN files in ModelBuilder

ModelBuilder now supports Bentley Drawing File formats (*.idgndb, *.imodel, *.dgn).

New Queries

The following Queries have been added.

Network Review

  • Property Connections not connected to Nearest Link
  • Inlets In Sag With Bypass Gutters
  • Inlets On Grade Without Bypass Gutters
  • Catch Basins Without a Catchment

Network Trace

  • Find Adjacent Nodes
  • Find Adjacent Links
  • Find Adjacent Start Nodes
  • Find Adjacent Stop Nodes

Display contour lines in plan view

Terrain Models can now display contour lines. The terrain model edit dialog allows you to define the minor interval and the amount of lines per major interval. The major interval will be calculated based off of those inputs. You can also customize the colors of the major and minor interval contour lines.

See Also [Top of Page]

Product TechNotes and FAQs

Ribbon Interface for Storm and Sewer CONNECT Edition products

OpenFlows Product TechNotes And FAQs

SewerGEMS and CivilStorm TechNotes and FAQs

Downloading OpenFlows | Hydraulics and Hydrology Software

Software installation order

Cumulative patch set information

Set up notifications for new versions and patch set releases

  Original Author: Craig Calvin