Converting a Civil 3D Pipe Network to an EPA SWMM Model (or vise versa)

 a Civil 3D Pipe Network into an EPA SWMM model is a relatively straight-forward process, if not the most directly.  Currently, there is no way to convert a Pipe Network into a SWMM model without using an intermediary software.  Luckily, Storm and Sanitary Analysis is just that intermediary and it is installed with Autodesk’s Civil 3D.

The first step in creating an EPA SWMM model from a pipe network is exporting the pipe network to Storm and Sanitary Analysis (SSA).  SSA gives us the ability to run SWMM models directly if we chose but moving back and forth from SWMM directly does have benefits.  Before we export the model, make sure that your pipe network migration settings are set correctly.  An explanation of this process can be found here:

Once the migration configuration is complete, export the pipe network from the Civil 3D Workspace>Analyze tab>Design Panel>Edit in Storm and Sanitary Analysis.


Check the model over to make sure that all your structures were exported properly.  If you have never used SSA before, the first thing that you might notice is how similar the interface and icons are to SWMM.  Once you are satisfied with the results of the model, go to the file menu at the top left of SSA Export>EPA SWMM.  Note: if this option is greyed out, then you most likely have an object in your model that is not in SWMM (EG. Inlets instead of junctions).



To create a pipe network from a SWMM model, it is the same process but in reverse.  In SSA go to File>Import>EPA SWMM


To get the model back into Civil 3D, we must now export the SSA model as a Hydraflow Storm Sewers file…


Finally, we import the file into Civil 3D (Civil 3D workspace>Insert tab>Import Panel>Storm Sewers) making sure that the import storm sewer migration settings are configured for our destination file (see link above). 

If done correctly, you should have a computer pipe network with all the necessary data included.




About the Author

Randy McCollum

Civil Solutions Applications Expert<br><br>As a professionally licensed civil engineer Randy provides training, process optimization, and technical support in water resource and site designs. His involvements include a wide range of product types including AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Map 3D, Autodesk Storm and Sanitary Analysis, Raster Design, and Infraworks.

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