Articles | Volume 14, issue 7
09 Jul 2010
 | 09 Jul 2010

Stochastic rainfall analysis for storm tank performance evaluation

I. Andrés-Doménech, A. Montanari, and J. B. Marco

Abstract. Stormwater detention tanks are widely used for mitigating impacts of combined sewer overflows (CSO) from urban catchments into receiving water bodies. The optimal size of detention tanks depends on climate and sewer system behaviours and can be estimated by using derived distribution approaches. They are based on using a stochastic model to fit the statistical pattern of observed rainfall records and a urban hydrology model to transform rainfall in sewer discharge. A key issue is the identification of the optimal structure of the stochastic rainfall model. Point processes are frequently applied, where rainfall events are schematised through the occurrence of rectangular pulses, which are governed by rainfall descriptors. In the presented model these latter descriptors are the interevent time (duration of the dry period between consecutive storms), event rainfall depth and event rainfall duration. This paper focuses on the analytical derivation of the probability distribution of the number and volume of overflows from the storm tank to the receiving water body for different and non-standard shapes of the probability distribution for above mentioned descriptors. The proposed approach is applied to 2 different sites in Spain: Valencia and Santander, located on the Mediterranean and northern Atlantic coastline, respectively. For both cases, it turned out that Pareto and Gamma-2 probability distributions for rainfall depth and duration provided a better fit than the exponential model, widely used in previous studies. A comparison between the two climatic zones, humid and semiarid, respectively, proves the key role played by climatic conditions for storm detention tanks sizing.