Development and application of an automated subcatchment generator for SWMM using open data

Lassi Warsta, Tero J. Niemi, Maija Taka, Gerald Krebs, Kersti Haahti, Harri Koivusalo, Teemu Kokkonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


An open source subcatchment generator program was developed for the Stormwater Management Model (SWMM) to automate tedious stages in the model construction process. The generator divides the investigated area into subcatchments using a uniform computation grid and connects the grid cells together and to the underlying stormwater network. The system was tested by applying it to two small urban catchments with different fractions of impervious surfaces in Helsinki, Finland, using mostly openly available data. The simulated discharge results were compared to measured data and to results obtained from manually built models. The proposed system significantly accelerated the setup of a SWMM modelling project, as the routing between the subcatchments as well as the subcatchment slopes and flow widths were directly derived from the computation grid. Automatically generated and manually constructed SWMM models produced discharge results that differed only slightly from each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-963
Number of pages10
JournalUrban Water Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • SWMM
  • automatization
  • open data


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