What's New with SewerGEMS CONNECT Edition Update 1

  Product(s): SewerGEMS
  Area: Installation


The CONNECT Edition Update 1 release of SewerGEMS introduces numerous improvements and features to help you be more successful. Let's explore each of these in detail.

List of Topics


  • Supported Operating Systems
  • Compatible Platforms

Layout & Data Input

  • Bing Maps
  • ModelBuilder Updates
  • ModelBuilder Snapshots
  • Spatial Join option in ModelBuilder
  • ModelBuilder Sync-In and Sync-Out by Selection
  • ModelBuilder Connection file Batch Import
  • Branch Labeling
  • Display TIN Triangles
  • Storm data source tracking
  • SQL Custom Queries
  • Ability to add K coefficient in TR-55 Shallow Concentrated Flow Tc option


  • Critical Storm Analysis
  • Explicit (SWMM) Solver Improvements
  • Conduit Surcharge user notification
  • Flooded Nodes user notification
  • Compute LID linked to Time-Area catchments

Usability Enhancements

  • Easier access to External Tools
  • Save to Package
  • Engineering Standards
  • Scenario pulldown tree view
  • Graphs manager tree view
  • Set as Default option in Graph Series Options
  • Control Conduit Structure menu improvements
  • Functional Conduit Control Structure improvements
  • GIS-ID Control Center
  • Open on Selection optioin in FlexTables
  • Delete cell in grid views
  • Option dialog
  • New Info item
  • CONNECT Advisor

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

The SewerGEMS CONNECT Edition Update 1 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 (Some earlier versions may work as well. MicroStation CONNECT Edition integration is not yet supported with this release.)
  • AutoCAD 2018 or 2017
  • ArcGIS 10.5 (Some earlier versions of ArcGIS 10 should work as well)


Wiki Platform Compatibility

Layout & Data Input [Top of Page]

Bing Maps

Bing aerial imagery and street maps can now be quickly and easily added to a model as a background layer. Map alignment is based on control points. Using latitudes and longitudes, you will be able to get better alignment of the image file with the model drawing. The control point group allows you to define the Latitude and Longitude of the map area you are interested in. The background map scale will be most accurate around the control point. You have a few Map Styles to choose from: Road, Aerial, or Aerial with Labels. 

See also (including video demonstration) here: How to add background aerial and road map images to your model

ModelBuilder Improvements

New ModelBuilder Snapshots feature

You can now create snapshots when creating a model with ModelBuilder and use those snapshots at later times to identify locations where the model and data source have diverged, providing the user with a way to reconcile those differences. The process below provides the user with a way to better control data used to update the model.

After a model is created or updated from the data source using ModelBuilder and the two are in sync, you can create a snapshot which contains the list of all data that has been imported from the data source.

If the user wants to update the model, it is possible to import all data but because many users have made changes to the model that they want to preserve, users often preferred to import only that data that has changed. The user can select the snapshot from the data source from a given time and preview any changes,

In the preview, the user can review all instances where the model and data source have diverged and select which data to place in the updated model. When the user builds the model using the Sync In function only data that the user wants imported is used to update the model.

Spatial Join feature in ModelBuilder

A new Spatial Join feature has been included in ModelBuilder, as a way of adding and updating a model based on the closest matching geometries.

The tolerance has a default of 100, with the unit based on what was selected for the connection. After clicking Next to go to the Field Mapping section of ModelBuilder, you will see that the key field is set to the <label> field generated by ModelBuilder. If you want to use a label from the source file as the label in the model, you can use the field mapping in the lower left to set the label, as well as any other properties of note.

Elements in the data source that don't match with any existing elements in the model will be created in the same way that an element with a key field not already in the model would be created.

When synchronizing into the model with spatial join enabled, ModelBuilder will first look for exact matches spatially and map them. Then searches are done on the remaining elements using the specified tolerance. If there are multiple nodes found within the tolerance, the closest one is chosen. If there are multiple polylines found, the distances between the start, mid, and end points are used to choose a match. If there are multiple polygons found, the distances between centroids are used.

In addition to mapping a label, you can also map GIS-IDs. If the GIS-ID is one of the fields in the external file, you can select the GIS-ID from the Property pulldown menu and assign the GIS-ID to the element. 

ModelBuilder Sync-In and Sync-Out by selection

You now have ability to update a model or sync out to a source file based on a selection of elements, as well as all elements in the model or source file.

If you choose to import to a selection of elements, you will either be able import to elements that are already selected or to a selection set that exists in the model.

This works the same for the Sync Out option in ModelBuilder.

ModelBuilder Batch Import

A new batch import tool is now included for use in the Command line (CMD) on your computer. This allows for a faster import of .MBC files into ModelBuilder and more efficient model building workflows when using existing ModelBuilder connections.

From the CMD dialog, you can enter the name of tool (Haestad.ModelBuilder.BatchImport.Driver.exe) followed by an input flag with semicolon delimited .MBC files.   

Branch Labeling

Branch labeling enables you to easily adhere to standards that label pipes and nodes based on network branches. This is sometimes required in certain locations, such as the UK. Branch labeling sets the labels of conduits (or pressure pipes) using the indexes of the branches that the conduits are in and using the indexes of conduits in the branches. The branches used for setting conduit labels are found by searching the longest path from an outfall node or a node in a branch.  This can be used to help identify branches in the system and set labels so it is easier to identify where these branches are.

To run the Branch Labeling tool, select the Tools > Tools > More > Branch Labeling to show the Branch Labeling Setting dialog.

These fields expect numerical values, but you can set branch numbering and pipe number to the start and increment value that works best for your system. Below is a screenshot of a sample of what this looks like after running.

The longest path is from MH-1 to the outfall. The conduit directly downstream of MH-1 is given the label 1.000, as it is the first pipe in the first branch. The labeling continues downstream to the outfall. Other branches are identified and given the appropriate label, such as 2.000 (the first pipe in the second branch).

When there are loops in a storm-sewer network, these loop branches are first located. Then, the loop branch is split into two branches. One branch will consist of a longer stretch of pipe. A second branch will consist of a smaller stretch of pipes. The numbering of the loop branch will follow the branch to the downstream node of the loop. The screenshot below shows a case like this. The loop consists of conduits between MH-10 and MH-5. The main branch is the longer path, and is labeled 3.001, 3.002, and 3.003. The loop branch here is called 4.000, and extends from the upstream to downstream not of the loop portion of the branch.

Display Triangles when importing Terrain Model

When adding a terrain model, you now have the ability to show the Civil product triangles or TIN (Triangulated Irregular Network) when loading the file. Triangles can be useful when reviewing catchments that are generated from using the Terrain Model. In addition, Triangles can be useful when doing the downstream water-drop trace.

Track source of Storm Event generation

When using Time-Depth or Time-Intensity storm data, the source of the dimensionless rainfall curves is now documented in the Storm Data dialog. This will include information on if the storm is from a dimensionless curve, and if so, which dimensionless curve library and rainfall curve was used. This makes it easier for you to understand the source of your storm events.

If the storm was not created from a dimensionless curve, the fields for Dimensional Rainfall Curve Library and Dimensionless Rainfall Curve will be blank. If you open an existing model from an older version of the product with existing rainfall data, these fields will be listed as Unavailable, even if they were generated from a dimensionless curve library.

SQL Custom queries added to SCADAConnect

SewerGEMS now supports the use of custom SQL Queries in SCADAConnect Simulator. This feature allows user familiar with SQL and SQL Queries to customize the input for real-time and historical SCADA data.

Ability to add K coefficient in TR-55 shallow concentrated flow Tc option

The Tc Data Collection has included the TR-55 Shallow Concentrated Flow option, which includes selections for paved or unpaved surfaces. A new option, “Other,” is included in addition to the paved and unpaved selections, which allow you to enter a K coefficient for other surfaces and better calculate the Tc for various surface types.

Calculations [Top of Page]

Critical Storm Analysis

The Critical Storm Analysis function enables you to quickly view and analyze which storm events were the worst-case (the “critical” storm) for each manhole and catch basin. This type of analysis is common in some locations. You can select a range of scenarios and check whether each storm event causes problems that might require adjustments to the design.

It will check if a given storm and duration will cause a node to be surcharged, overflow, or be at risk of overflowing. It will also display the critical storm event, which is the storm that causes the most extreme conditions, and the first storm event that will see either surcharging or overflows.

To run this, go to Compute and select Critical Storm Analysis. You would then select the scenarios to be included in the run.

Once computed, a table is generated that displays the results, including the status of the nodes, as well as key results related to if the system is surcharging or overflowing. There is a color coding column to easily pick out the status of the node to show if the node is not expected to see surcharging or overflows, or if it may see these conditions.

 SWMM Improvements

Updates for the Explicit (SWMM) solver are included in this release, including several that better handle the use of SI units with the Explicit solver. These include:

SWMM – Events Feature

SWMM Events allows you to model only key areas of your storm events. This improves performance of Long-Term Continuous Simulation models by skipping dry states between storm events.

Rather than model a system using a very long duration, SWMM Events allows you to select key times in your simulation to focus on results. For instance, if you have particularly high flows during a 40-year period, you can define events that only cover these periods. This will save on run time for large models while allowing you to see results at key times for your system. These are defined in the calculation options when using the Explicit (SWMM) solver.

SWMM Land Use improvements

You can model the build up of pollutants over time and how they are washed away in the SWMM Land Use dialog. In previous versions of the software, it was assumed that the functions used here were in US units. With this update, you can now define the units that the treatment will use from a dropdown menu in the SWMM Land Uses dialog.

SWMM Treatments improvements

You can model the removal of pollutants from the flow entering any drainage system by assigning treatment functions to the node. You assign treatment functions to a node by adding a treatment collection, which contains one or more pollutants and their associated treatment expressions. In earlier versions, it was assumed that the units used for these were in US units. With this update, you can now define the units that the treatment will use from a dropdown menu in the properties grid or the FlexTables.

SWMM User-defined Climate File

Previous versions assumed that the Climate File used on Long Term Continuous Simulations were in US units. However, certain climate files can use SI units. In this version, you have the ability to choose if the units are US or SI units.

Note that climate data that comes directly from EPA-SWMM is always in US units, so this option to change units is not included for these file types.

SWMM Control Sets improvements

SWMM Control Sets were improved to allow you to select the units that the controls are in. In previous versions, the expected units for control sets were as follows: Flow: cfs; Length: feet; Time: hours. With this update, the user can define what units they want to use for the control set. This will help you define the controls in the units you want to use without worrying about doing the conversion.

SWMM Calculation Improvements

Improvements were made to how data in a model using SI units are exported out to SWMM. EPA-SWMM assumes US units are used. The improvements allow for easier conversion of units between US and SI units and less confusion when exporting model data out to EPA-SWMM.

Conduits surcharged user notification (GVF-Convex (SewerCAD) & GVF-Rational (StormCAD) solvers)

A new user notification was introduced that indicates when a conduit is surcharging. This will better allow you to identify when a part of the system may be undersized. This will status that when a conduit is surcharged and allow you to zoom to that element when identified.

Generate user notifications for flooded nodes (GVF-Convex (SewerCAD) & GVF-Rational (StormCAD) solvers)

User notifications are now included to notify the user when a node is flooding.

Compute LID linked to Time-Area catchments

In previous versions of the SewerGEMS and CivilStorm required the user of the EPA-SWMM runoff method when using low impact development, or LID. It is now possible to model LID using other catchment types. This feature is available with the Implicit, Explicit, and GVF-Convex (SewerCAD) solver (EPS only).

For a Time-Area catchment with a LID, the LID's underdrain outflow can link back to Parent catchment or catchment's outflow node, link to upstream node/pond, link to downstream node/pond, or run on to another Time-Area catchment (Run on is not allowed with an EPA SWMM catchment).

Usability Enhancements [Top of Page]

Easier Access to External Tools

The External Tools menu has been included in the Tools tab. This allows for easier access to the External Tools manager, allowing you to select the tool and run it.

Save to Package feature

The Save to Package features allows you to bundle necessary files together and compress them into a zip file. This will make it simple for cases where you need to supply model files to a colleague, to a reviewer, or to technical support. By default, the models files (.stsw and .stsw.sqlite files), dwh, dwh.profiles are included in the package file, but you can also opt to include log, result, backup, and background files as well. You can access this by going to File > Save as Package

Engineering Standards

This feature allows you to customize a set of validations rules so you can check a model against a set of specific engineering standards, such as diameter ranges, materials, and pump status. You would define the severity of the standard (Information, Warning, Error). If flagged during validation, this will appear in the Engineering Standards tab of the User Notification dialog.

Scenario tree view in Ribbon drop-down menu

The Scenario dropdown menu is now improved to show a tree view for a clear and easy way to select the appropriate scenario from the dropdown menu.

Graph manager folders and tree view

The Graphs manager has a new tree view format that will help with better sorting of the graphs in your model. A new Folder option was added as well.

The Folder option is available in both the New button and in the right-click menu. Graphs can either be added from the parent Graphs folder or to any new folder. In addition, individual graphs can now be dragged and dropped in to different folders, allowing for better management of the graphs in your model.

Set as Default option in Graph Series Options

If you have a particular set of Graph Series Options (i.e., selected attributes to graph) that you frequently use, it is now possible to set that as a default in the Graph Series Options. Once this is set, it will be used for future graphs. If you want to reset the default, there is an option to do that as well.

Improved Conduit Control Structure dialog layout

The Conduit Control Structure manager has been updated to be more streamlined and easier to use. Instead of a tree format, you now can add new control structures directly. Now you can see the label for the control structure along with the control structure type on the left part of the dialog. The right side of the dialog contains the control structure information.

Functional Conduit Control Structure improvements

The Functional conduit control structure type has been updated to allow for SI units to be used. In the dialog for the Functional control structure, you can now choose if your structure type function is in US or SI units and choose the flow unit that you want to use.

If you use US units, you also have the ability to pick the flow units.

GIS-ID Control Center

A new GIS-ID Control Center is now available to quickly view, edit, and populate GIS-IDs in a model. You can find the GIS-ID Control Center in the Tools tab.

All elements in the model are available in the table. The GIS-ID column is a comma delimited field, meaning that multiple GIS-IDs can be entered and viewed, separated with a comma. ModelBuilder can be used to import the data, which will then appear in the GIS-ID Control Center. If you edit the GIS-ID collection field in the element properties or element FlexTable, the data you enter there will also appear in the GIS-ID Control Center.

If an element had a GIS-ID and is deleted from the model, you are still able to track these elements and their GIS-IDs. A separate GIS-ID Control Center for Deleted Elements option has also been included. This will allow you to track the GIS-IDs used in a given model, even for elements no longer present.

Open on Selection option in FlexTables

An Open on Selection option is now available from the Select from Drawing button in the element FlexTables. This feature allows you to filter the FlexTable based on elements that are highlight on the screen.

An Open on All Rows option is also included, which effectively resets the filter used with Open on Selection.

Delete cell in grid views

You can now delete data from a cell in FlexTables and other table by simply using the Delete key on your keyboard.

Option dialog

The Options dialog has been moved to the File menu, where it can be more easily accessed to make adjustments to settings in a model.

New Info item

A new Info item has been added to the File menu. This is a convenient place to enter and find information on a specific project.

This also include everything that used to be in the Hydraulic Model Properties dialog. In addition, there are buttons that allow the user to directly open relevant folders related to the model, including the file location, the working folder, the Program Data folder and the User Settings folder. The Program Data and User Settings folders contain configuration files, Engineering Libraries, and other files you may occasionally need to access.

Integrate CONNECT Advisor functionality

CONNECT Advisor is a central hub that provides an easier way to access information across a variety of locations such as Bentley Communities, LEARN Server (training), YouTube, and more. This is included in the ribbon and is available when you have signed into the CONNECTION Client. It will list recent content as the default, but will allow you to search for topics as well. In future releases, CONNECT Advisor will provide even easier access to useful information and training.

See Also [Top of Page]

Product TechNotes and FAQs

OpenFlows Methods 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: Scott Kampa