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Software; TR-20/TR-55

Software; TR-20/TR-55

Software; TR-20/TR-55

Since I'm the most knowledgeable computer person in my office, I've been given the task of finding a suitable stormwater analysis software package.  I know next to nothing about stormwater analysis.

We commonly review and approve SWM plans submitted to our office.  Most analyses use either Haestad or TR-55.  Site areas are generally in the 80 acre range.  Our drainage superintendent would prefer something with a user-friendly GUI.  My options at this point appear to be (without knowing much about their GUIs) HydroCAD, Hydrographs/flow, WINSMADA, StormSheD, and Haestad.  I've downloaded some demo software but our IT dept. hasn't made it over to let me install it yet.

My big questions at this point in my search are:

1. Does TR-20 correlate well with TR-55 to enable accurate review of one using the other?
2. Does Haestad have any significant advantage in analysis over the competition, especially considering the costs involved?
3. What do you use, and what do you like/dislike about it?  Ignoring price, which package would you choose?
4. Are there any packages that really stand out from the crowd (everyone's website proclaims their software is the industry leader, ad nauseum)?
5. Is price (in this industry) an indicator of quality or capability (i.e., StormShed2G @ $2400 v. Hydraflow @ $295)?

Thanks for your help.  Any information you can give will be appreciated!

Best regards,

RE: Software; TR-20/TR-55

I use SMADA and like it pretty well. HEC-HMS is free so you might want to consider it as well as NFF and HEC-RAS.

I have not found a good correlation between price and quality.  Some of the high priced programs seem overpriced to me.

Can you find another person in your office to review the software with you ? Someone who know stormwater design but may not know software so good ?

Good luck,


RE: Software; TR-20/TR-55

I have used several, Pondpack by Haesteds, SedCAD, ICPR (Interconnected Pond Routing) and would have to say ICPR did the best for me.  Their Tech support was more accessible, and cheeper from my memory, than Haseteds.  Heasteads is very proud of their softeware and service contract and it is reflected in thier $$$$.  And they still can't seem to address all my wishes, or when they do (about every year with a pricy new version) you have to spend some time figruing out where they put everything.  When I used ICPR it did not have pop-up windows, but rather drop down which was actually better in my opinion.  They are located in Florida, I believe.

I use SedCAD more for erosion control, but it can be used for pond routing. It is farily simple and not expensive.  Technical support is great, because you talk directly to the very nice Civil Engineer who wrote the program.  She studied under one of those super smart Kentucky professors.

I would think that the person reviewing the software does not necessarily need to be the computer brain, but the project engineer who will be stamping the report and watching productivity.  How fancy the software book looks, the screen colors, or the pop-up format is of little concern in the bigger picture.

RE: Software; TR-20/TR-55

We use HydroCAD for most of our projects.  Very user friendly, intuitive interface, relatively low cost, easy-to-read output.  Support is excellent.  I've had no complaints.

If we could just get them to incorporate HSPF-like modelling...

RE: Software; TR-20/TR-55


TR-55 is a special case of TR-20.  When TR-20 was developed, only large computer centers could run it, so they developed TR-55 with its associated nomographs so that the local engineer could use it.  It is based, I believe on an average curve number of 65.  The further your weighted curve number is from 65, the more inaccurate the model.  TR-55 has since been upgraded for use on a computer, but still has the limitations.

We use HydroCAD.  It is a moderately priced package with an easy to use GUI interface.  HydroCAD can be configured to use the TR-20, SBUH or Rational runoff methodology.  It does have its limitations, but has been able to handle anything I've thrown at it for the last 15 years.  Here in New Hampshire it seems to be the standard.

RE: Software; TR-20/TR-55

I have experience using Stormshed.  It was flexible but sometimes buggy.  I cannot personally recommend it at this time because my opinion is that technical software should come with printed manuals (it comes with .pdf manuals) and not have bugs.  It also has weak printing routines, which can make it time consuming to compile output from complicated model scenarios because formatting must be done in Word or other software.  Some screens (e.g. the schematic layout) don't print at all.  The good side is that when you have problems the support is excellent, and there are many computational options, and much flexibility in routing basins, splitting outflows, automating analyses, intedependent ponds, etc.  

I still prefer the predecessor to StormShed, the DOS based WaterWorks program.  The GUI is a little more tedious but it is stable, computationally robust, and came with a printed manual.  It was available from Engenious Systems, same as Stormshed.

RE: Software; TR-20/TR-55

You can now get smaller versions of PondPack if you don't need the unlimited ponds that has always been offered. There are 1 pond and 3 pond versions at lower prices and the yearly maintenance includes all version upgrades and free technical support.

RE: Software; TR-20/TR-55

I have PondPak and am still looking for stormwater software to meet my needs. Two problems I have with PondPak are
1. it sets the percolation rate to zero at the pond bottom, which in the case of a dry pond design, is never the case.
2. It will not let me evaluate the 1, 2, 4, 8, and 24 hour duration, 25year events to determine critical duration.
One of our other offices has ICPR and I am looking into it. I would not recommend PondPak.

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