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HydroCAD Stormwater Modeling - Since 1986

CSV Format

Using CSV hydrograph files

A link is often used to import hydrograph data from an outside file, and the CSV hydrograph format is generally the easiest type of file to create by hand.

HydroCAD also supports a more powerful HCE hydrograph format, which is commonly used for linking multiple projects together.  But the widely-used CSV format is generally recommended for other applications.

Creating a CSV hydrograph file

A CSV file can be created with any spreadsheet program by saving the file to CSV format.  This is generally accomplished by an option on the File|SaveAs menu.  Since a CSV file is a plain text file, it can also be created or modified with a standard text editor, such as NotePad.  This sample illustrates the basic elements of a CSV hydrograph file loaded into a spreadsheet.  Since the spreadsheet automatically strips the commas, they do not appear on-screen.

Time (hours) 2-year 10-year 50-year (cfs) 100-year (cms)
0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
5.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
10.00 0.47 1.02 1.43 0.82
15.00 5.16 7.13 9.34 6.12
20.00 4.28 6.53 7.86 4.05
25.00 3.06 5.45 6.86 3.52

The first column must contain time values.  Time values default to hours, or you can explicitly specify (hours), (minutes) or (seconds) in the column heading.  Time values can be at even or uneven intervals, and do not have to match the project settings.  HydroCAD will interpolate between the supplied values as required by the individual project.

Additional column(s) are used to define the individual hydrographs or events.  Each column heading contains the hydrograph name or event name.  Flow values default to CFS, or you can explicitly specify (CFS) or (CMS) in the individual column heading.

For further details see the LinkTest4.CSV file that is preinstalled with HydroCAD-10.

Using your CSV file

To use your hydrograph file in a HydroCAD project, create a link node and use the "File" option to select your CSV file.  If your CSV file contains data for multiple events, select (MultiEvent) in the hydrograph box.  This will cause HydroCAD to automatically select the hydrograph column that matches your current event.  If the file does not contain multi-event data, select the specific hydrograph (column) to be imported for all events.

Note: If you don't see the (MultiEvent) option in the drop-down lost, you need to update to HydroCAD 10.0 build 3 or later in order to support multi-event CSV files.  Although earlier versions can handle multiple hydrographs in a single CSV file, they cannot automatically match the hydrograph to the current event.

Whenever you use a multi-event link, the associated project must contain event names which exactly match the column headings in the CSV file.  The events must be defined on the Rainfall tab of the calculation settings screen.

After configuring the link, it's outflow will consist of the specified hydrograph, and may be routed just like any other node.  If you're using the multi-event capability, the outflow of the link will be automatically updated whenever a different event is selected.

Demonstration multi-event link

For a demonstration of the hydrograph import capability, and the features of each file format, see the Link Demo project that is preinstalled with HydroCAD-10 and later.


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