Software for complex design | water world


Located east of downtown Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario, the Ashbridges Bay Processing Plant Discharge Project (ABTPO) required an upgrade.

The treatment plant is one of the largest and oldest sewage treatment plants in Canada, built in 1910 and in operation since 1917. It is the largest of Toronto’s four sewage treatment plants , with a peak hydraulic capacity of 3,300 megalitres of wastewater per day. However, the existing outlet did not have sufficient capacity to discharge treated effluent into the lake and was nearing the end of its life, as it was constructed in 1947.

With team members in Canada, engineering firm Hatch was responsible for the design and construction of a new tunnel spillway that would send treated wastewater from the treatment plant into Lake Ontario. The C$300 million (US$230 million) project involved sinking a shaft adjacent to the shoreline and then mining a tunnel through rock directly below the lake bed.

“To put the dimension of the shaft and the tunnel into perspective, we are effectively building a shaft which is a football field deep in the ground, a tunnel which is approximately three times the length of the Golden Gate Bridge and a tunnel diameter which is the size of an average two-story house [for this project]said Kevin Waher, Senior Project Manager at Hatch.

The treated effluent would then flow by gravity from the plant through connecting pipes to the shaft and tunnel into the lake. The location, complexity and scale of the project all presented major challenges.

Improving Wastewater Treatment in Toronto

The Hatch team realized early on that they needed software that combined computer-aided design (CAD) and engineering analysis to ensure the success of this project. In addition to overcoming the multiple and complex challenges associated with the construction of the project, they also had to minimize costs while taking into account the underwater soil and environmental characteristics.

As the sewage treatment plant serves approximately 1.6 million Toronto residents, the end result was also to ensure a better quality of life for the community, as well as all future residents as the city grows and expands. .

The team determined that traditional engineering delivery methods would be insufficient for this project. In addition to the work surrounding the construction of the tunnel, Hatch was also to construct 50 in-line vertical diffuser risers to connect the top of the tunnel to the lake bed along the last 1,000 meters of the tunnel to help channel flows to Lake. . Tunnel operations would be supported from the onshore shaft, while the risers would be drilled from barges on the water.

Coordination would be essential to ensure the success of this project; and with the team dispersed in various offices, they would need to develop digital collaboration workflows for effective communication.

Software for better technical analysis

The Hatch team was already familiar with Bentley Systems, having used its software during the initial design phase of the project in 2015. For this next phase of the project, they opted to use both OpenRoads and Bentley’s MicroStation as their design software. , and ProjectWise software to enable and enhance collaboration.

The team used OpenRoads to map surfaces from drill logs, including lake water level and the planned tunnel invert. The software allowed the team to predict geological boundary conditions beneath the lake, which helped inform design decisions.

They discovered the most effective depth of the shaft, mitigating the potential risk of the tunnel flooding from the lake. They created a circular profile around the shaft in OpenRoads to confirm ground conditions throughout, which helped determine appropriate excavation types.

With MicroStation, Hatch modeled all shaft and tunnel elements, allowing engineers to complete the tunnel rings and determine the proper rotation of each ring to resolve any connection issues. 3D modeling of the platform provided a clear picture of the complex geometry, helping the engineering team prepare a simplified reinforcement plan.

They also modeled the excavation of the shaft, taking into account the depth of the structures, varying soil and rock conditions and different types of structures to ensure that their excavation plan would proceed on time and without unforeseen delays.

Hatch also used Bentley’s ProjectWise connected data environment so the team could collaborate across multiple time zones, ensuring the project was delivered on time and under budget. They coordinated all CAD work, technical analysis and design on the platform, allowing the team to continue working on CAD drawings while PDFs were created on a separate server.

“Bentley’s software suite was implemented on the ABTPO project to create practical solutions that solve unique engineering challenges, to facilitate a connected and collaborative work environment, and to deliver a cost-effective and efficient project,” said Waher.

Exceed customer expectations while saving significant costs

For this project, Hatch delivered a high quality design to their client ahead of schedule. The advanced CAD capabilities of OpenRoads and MicroStation enabled Hatch engineers to employ one full-time and two part-time team member, reducing labor hours by 2,000 hours and resulting in cost savings. CA$350,000 (US$275,000).

With 3D models used for technical peer review and constructability workshops, 100% of tender submissions were delivered to the client one week in advance, saving $25,000 CAD ($19,000) in staff hours spent on CAD drawings. Additionally, since the project was paperless by using ProjectWise’s connected data environment to share all documents and information, Hatch saved over CA$35,000 (US$27,000) in paper and printing costs.

These results were recognized by the client.

“The design phase of the outfall was completed to the satisfaction of the city, on time and under budget, which is commendable,” said Justyna Teper, outfall project manager for the City of Toronto. .

The new outfall is a key part of the city’s improvements to the plant’s water capacity, and the ABTPO project is expected to help improve the city’s coastline and beaches, as well as the water quality of the Lake Ontario. WW

About the Author: Sandra DiMatteo is Director of Industrial Marketing for Water Infrastructure at Bentley Systems. She has over 25 years of experience in asset reliability and performance management software and asset lifecycle information management.

Posted in water world review, March 2022.

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