Water does run uphill

What!! Water runs downhill – that is rule #1 of civil engineering, right? Okay – fine. But sometimes would you not like to know what was the fastest route the water took to get downhill? It is now possible!! Find out after the jump.

There are a lot of tools that we have talked about coming in Engineered Efficiency’s ProPack Hydro application. You have HEC RAS interoperability tools, HydraFlow Storm Sewers interoperability tools, and HydraFlow HydroGraph interoperability tools. However, I think one of my favorite tools in this upcoming package is what is called “GetWaterRoute”. It draws the fastest route a water drop took to get to the specified point.

Let’s see how it works.

First I click on the tool in EE ProPack Hydro’s palette (or type in “GetWaterRoute” at the command line)

The function prompts me to select a surface graphically. I can also select a surface from a list by pressing enter.

Next I am prompted to select the point the water drained TO.

This draws a 3DPolyline routing the fastest route up to the top of the basin.

Great little tool that is worth its weight in gold!!

Let me know what you think.

Oh and by the way, we are aiming to release EE ProPack Hydro 2009 sometime next week!!


  1. What about the longest path? That is what we really need for stormwater to calc the Tc path. I would imagine a tool that assigned covers to the spatial site areas (like an AutoCAD Map Topology) and a routine that analyzed the covers vs. surface slopes using the SCS Tc path calcs and figured out the longest path in seconds. THAT WOULD BE A REAL TIME SAVER and the missing link in stormwater analysis in Civil 3D.

    Currently you can use AutoCAD Map Topologies to do your spatial cover analysis to break down the site areas to your weighted C values but there is NO tool to aid in figuring out the Tc path. The main reason I still hate figuring out the Tc path. I still have to do it manually….

  2. Dustin Manning says:

    I am just starting to get into the part of my job that would require this tool so forgive me if my question is uneducated. How does this differ from the water drop tool built into Civil 3D?

  3. John Mayo, PE says:

    “there is NO tool to aid in figuring out the Tc path. The main reason I still hate figuring out the Tc path. I still have to do it manually….”

    Hitting the nail smack on the head Mark. I dread this task as well. I am still hoping Autodesk will soon let us label the start & end points for a FL. This would at least automate a label & quick calc for sheet, shallow conc & channel flows. Currently we can only get segment start & segement end even though overall length is included.

  4. Good comments,

    Mark –
    EE ProPack Hydro has the ability to calculate a Tc based upon a catchment area and surface using TR55 formulas. Both you and John may be touching on tools already built or improvements to tools ALREADY in EE ProPack Hydro. You have to use it and let us know.

    Dustin –
    The difference between C3D’s water drop and EE ProPack Hydro’s GetWaterRoute is that C3D goes downhill whereas GetWaterRoute goes uphill. Both useful tools.

  5. Keir LaFon says:

    I remember using the watershed features in Softdesk 8. Once you built your watershed you could pick a point at your catch basin and it would draw a closed polyline drainage area. It’s nice to know that Autodesk is finally catching up with useful drainage design tools available in 1998!

  6. J. Stevens says:

    I am assuming that your routine actually works compared to the C3D Water Drop routine that I have had VERY limited success with. It seems to work OK on a corridor but outside of the corridor it doesn’t even come close. This is a separate purchase from CivilAccess, correct? Is there a demo available?

  7. John,
    Try taking your feature line you have created for you Tc assuming you have it with elevations draped on the surface. Then define that feature line as a pipe network using elevations from vertices. You can then have a label than spans across the pipe segments within each type of flow and have a pipe style setup for your Tc display.
    Give it try.

  8. John Mayo, PE says:

    Jonathan thank you very much. That should work. I should also be able to create expressions to do the calcs. In the past few years I have tried to do this with FL’s 3dplines, alg’s & profiles.

    I never thought of using a pipe net. I will give this a shot on the next job. 🙂

    Sorry Josh but I’ll put it in a R&R quote for James to have fun with.

    “Money is tight, there’s none to be found. So don’t think I’m tight if I don’t buy a round”.