The Most Powerful and Comprehensive Urban Stormwater Treatment and Analysis Solution


InfoSWMM Sustain  for InfoSWMM and InfoSWMM SA



click to enlargeDesigned in response to the needs of watershed and stormwater engineering professionals, InfoSWMM Sustain performs very sophisticated hydrologic and water quality modeling in watersheds and urban streams and enables users to develop, evaluate, and select optimal combination of best management practice (BMP), Low Impact Development (LID) and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) at various watershed scales on the basis of cost and effectiveness. It can be effectively used to evaluate complex decisions about green infrastructure selection and placement, performance, and costs for meeting flow or water quality targets or both. It also gives users the power tool they need to maximize water quality benefits, minimize stormwater management costs and combined sewer overflows, and protect the environment and public health.

InfoSWMM Sustain is a comprehensive geocentric decision support system created to facilitate optimal selection and placement of BMPs and low impact development (LID) techniques at strategic locations in urban watersheds. It can accurately model any combination of LID controls, such as porous permeable pavement, rain gardens, green roofs, street planters, rain barrels, infiltration trenches, and vegetative swales, to determine their effectiveness in managing stormwater and combined sewer overflows. Such capabilities can greatly assist users in developing cost-effective and reliable implementation plans for flow and pollution control measures aimed at protecting source waters and meeting water quality goals. It does so by helping users answer the following questions:

  • How effective are LIDs and BMPs in reducing runoff and pollutant loadings?
  • What are the most cost-effective solutions for meeting water quality and quantity objectives?
  • And where, what type, and how extensive should the LIDs and BMPs be?

Seamless SWMM5 and GIS Integration

By seamlessly integrating GIS with SWMM 5.1, InfoSWMM Sustain greatly expands on the USEPA SUSTAIN software to provide critically needed support to watershed practitioners at all levels in developing stormwater management evaluations and cost optimizations to meet their program needs. The software can automatically import any SWMM 5.1, InfoSWMM or InfoWorks ICM model (exported to SWMM 5.1), then evaluate numerous potential combinations of LIDs and BMPs to determine the optimal combination to meet specified objectives such as runoff volume or pollutant loading reductions. Kinematic wave and full dynamic wave flow routing models are fully supported.

A highly advanced urban stormwater management solution, InfoSWMM Sustain integrates comprehensive watershed modeling capabilities, best management practice (BMP) process simulation, and BMP cost representation within the context of a cost-benefit optimization framework.

LID/BMP Siting Tool

InfoSWMM Sustain lets users select suitable locations for common structural LIDs/BMPs that meet the defined site suitability criteria, such as:

  • drainage area,
  • slope,
  • hydrological soil group,
  • groundwater table depth,
  • road buffer,
  • stream buffer, and
  • building buffer.

LIDs/BMPs are classified and conceptualized in InfoSWMM Sustain as scale-based and type-based. The scale-based category classifies LIDs/BMPs according to the size of the application area, such as lot-, community-, and watershed-scales. The type-base category classifies LIDs/BMPs into three types according to the geometric properties:

  • Point LIDs/BMPs: practices that capture upstream drainage at a specific location and may use a combination of detention, infiltration, evaporation, settling, and transformation to manage flow and remove pollutants.
  • Linear LIDs/BMPs: narrow linear shapes adjacent to stream channels that provide filtration of runoff, nutrient uptake, and ancillary benefits of stream shading, wildlife habitat, and aesthetic value.
  • Area LIDs/BMPs: land-based management practices that affect impervious area, land cover, and pollutant input.

The following structural LID/BMP options are fully supported:

Constructed Wetland Grassed Swale Green Roof
Infiltration Basin Infiltration Trench Porous Pavement
Bioretention Vegetated Filter Strip
Sand Filter (surface) Sand Filter (non-surface)
Rain Barrel
Wet Pond
Dry Pond

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Advanced Optimization Capabilities

A significant improvement over EPA Sustain, InfoSWMM Sustain lets users optimize the entire system (using advanced Genetic Algorithms), not only individual subcatchments. Users can also evaluate multiple optimized LID scenarios, enabling them to effectively determine the optimal management strategy for reaching their hydrology and quality goals based on global cost effectiveness. Users can now quickly evaluate complex decisions about green infrastructure selection and placement performance, costs for meeting flow or water quality targets, or both. The software gives them the power they need to maximize water quality benefits, minimize stormwater management costs and combined sewer overflows, and protect the environment and public health.

Optimized Best Surface Water Management Plan

InfoSWMM Sustain helps users make flood management decisions that are both evidence-based and risk-based, while taking climate change and stakeholder views and preferences into account. The result is an optimized long-term surface water management plan featuring the most sustainable strategy to manage the risk of surface water flooding — one that will stand the test of time and be adaptable to future changes in the climate.


Among its many vital applications, InfoSWMM Sustain can be effectively used by practitioners, municipalities, and watershed groups at the regional and local level in developing TMDL implementation plans, identifying management practices to achieve pollutant reductions under a separate municipal storm sewer system (MS4) stormwater permit, determining optimal green infrastructure strategies for reducing volume and peak flows to combined sewer systems, evaluating the benefits of distributed green infrastructure implementation on water quantity and quality in urban streams, and developing a phased BMP installation plan using cost effectiveness curves.

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