Evaluation of Drainage Management Software

Reviewed to Date: CulvertMaster summary Evaluation

Evaluation Form

Evaluator Information

Name: Jeff Hagan
Date: Feb. 17, 2000

Software Information

Title of Software: CulvertMaster
Purpose: Culvert Hydraulic Design
Publisher: Haestad Methods, Inc.
Version: 1.0
Year Published: 1996
Affiliate Software:
Platform(s): Win95 WinNT
Computer: IBM
Media: Floppy Disk & CD-ROM
System Requirements: Required: 486DX-33, 8MB RAM, HDD w. 20 MB free, VGA, Win95. Recommended: Pentium 60, 16 MB RAM, SVGA, Win95 or NT
Availability: online — publisher's web site.

Required Extras

Additional Required Hardware: None.
Additional Required Software: None for regular operation, text editor required to add new culvert sizes/materials in the material.ini file.

Installation and Set-up

Installation Documentation & Installation Instructions The program relies on setup program to guide the user. Instructions give just enough information to launch the setup program. The setup program is self-explanatory.
Installation Speed Approx. 2–3 minutes
Configuration Options
  • -  install path must end with “CVM” directory
  • -  the only configuration option is imperial or metric default for measurement units (NB: this option can be changed in the program while running)
  • -  no option given to change placement in Start menu from default

Instructions and Feedback

  Yes No Comments
Error Notification Yes Error notification is given for some, but not all. For example input errors are not reported. Error messages are sometimes cryptic, but usually fairly clear.
Tutorial Available Yes
  • -  Three separate tutorials; “One Minute Tutorial”, Design Tutorial, & Analysis Tutorial
  • -  “One minute tutorial” is for users who are unfamiliarwith PCs/Windows in general.
  • -  Design and Analysis tutorials show the basic features of the program, but do not show the user the intricacies of the program.
Help Menu Available Yes
  • -  Searchable Help Menu, plus context sensitive help buttons on most windows
  • -  Fairly easy to find answers to most questions quickly
  • -  The help menu is intended to be the main information source for the user about the program — it includes all the information in, and goes beyond, the User's Guide.
  • -  Provides information on theories & equations used for calculation
Technical Support Available Yes
  • -  Phone, fax, web, email — Contact Info is in the User's Guide.
  • -  Company web site has little in the way of troubleshooting information, but information on how to contact tech support is easy to find
  • -  Option on CD to send software publisher a file. Not very well explained, but seems to be for troubleshooting problems with program data files.
  • -  Prompt response when tech support contacted by email

Program Functionality

Printing Capabilities Standard reports & graphs. No formatting options. User is given choice of what data to plot on graphs and in rating tables. No options with reports.
Amount of Data Entry Required Will calculate some data automatically, e.g. elevations/slopes, otherwise data requirements equivalent to hand calculation.
Ease of Navigation
  • -  Program is laid out logically.
  • -  Navigation is easy once reasonably familiar with the program.
  • -  This is one area where the tutorial is helpful.
Disk/CD Required For Use Disk or CD not required after program is installed
Save Output Files Data files can be saved, but output files (reports, etc.) cannot be saved separately.
Save-Name Limitations
  • -  Only 8 characters allowed. Spaces allowed.
  • -  Rainfall data table & equation files limited to 8.3 format.
  • -  Files must use the default 3-letter extension for the file type.

Modelling Capabilities

  Yes No DMM Reference Comments
Hydrologic Yes Program has limited hydrologic modelling capability: can calculate peak flow based on analysis by Rational or SCS Peak Discharge Methods for upstream watershed
Single Event No Only uses IDF curves/tables
Continuous Event No Only uses IDF curves/tables
Rational Method Yes No limitations stated for use of method
Rainfall Data Accepted Yes Accepts data in the following forms:
  • -  Equations for rainfall I-D-F curves (3 eq'n types are allowed — Rainfall I-D-F table
  • -  Can calculate rainfall table based on National Weather Service Hydro-35 method (Imperial units only)
  Applicable Reference in DMM Page # Users Guide Page # Description
Land Use: Urban Applicable 8.39–8.42 3-4, 3-9
Rural Applicable 8.39–8.42 3-4, 3-9
Subsurface Flow
Water Balance
Water Quality
Hydrograph Method
Routing: Channel
Water Quality
Major/Minor System Applicable 5.38, 8.125–8.128 3-24
Receiving Water Applicable 3-27 – 3-30 Uses tailwater level/downstream channel characteristics in calculations
Accept External Input Files Applicable N/A 3-6 Accepts proprietary format rainfall data files (.TBL) and rainfall equation files (.EQN) fromother projects generated by CulvertMaster.
Produce Output Files Applicable N/A 3-6 Produces proprietary format rainfall data and equation files (.TBL & .EQN).
Hydraulic Applicable Uses methodologies set forth in Hydraulic Design Series No. 5, Hydraulic Design of Highway Culverts (1985), prepared for the U.S. FederalHighway Administration (User's Guide, p. 3–10)
Flow Conditions:
Steady Applicable 8.92 The program assumes steady flow conditions exist in the system.
Uniform Applicable 8.92 3-29 – 3-30
Gradually Varied Applicable 8.92 3-10, 3-15, 3-18, 3-22 – 3-23, 3-29 – 3-30 Direct step & standard step methods are used in the culvert analysis.
Rapidly Varied Applicable 8.92 3-10, 3-21 User's Guide states that rapidly varied flow exists in culverts, but does not explicitly say that the program solves for this type of flow.
The program can handle hydraulic jumps within the culvert, but will not specifically state to the user that a jump has occurred, or where it occurred.
Subcritical Applicable 5.10, 8.97, 8.99 3-15
Supercritical Applicable 5.10, 8.97, 8.99 3-15
Two Dimensional
Tractive Force
Energy Applicable 8.93–8.94 3-18 – 3-24 Methods used:
  • -  direct step
  • -  standard step
Momentum Applicable 8.102 3-21 Manual states that the program can handle hydraulic jumps, but no mention is made of the momentum method. The program appears to account for hydraulic jumps properly, but does not output information to user (see above, “Rapidly Varied”).
Structures Modelled:
Rectangular 8.110-8.115 3-29
Triangular 8.110–8.115 3-29
Trapezoidal 8.110–8.115
Irregular 8.110–8.115 3-29
Culverts Applicable 3.44–3.49, 5.17–5.18, 5.33–5.42, 5.160–5.164 3-10 – 3-23, 3-29 – 3-30 Culvert analysis and design is the primary purpose of the program.
Inlet Control Applicable 8.134–8.136 3-11 – 3-13
Outlet Control Applicable 8.134, 8.137 3-14
Accept Multiple Cross Section Applicable N/A 1-1 - Analysis mode will accept unlimited number of culverts, each with different cross section and material characteristics.
Inlets and Gutters
Grate Inlet
Curb Inlet
Combination Inlet
Slot Inlet
Ditch Inlet
Pressure Pipes
Weirs and Orifices
Sharp Crested Weirs
Other Weirs Applicable 8.121 – 8.123, 8.125 – 8.127 3-24 Types of weirs supported by program:
  • -  broad crested weir
  • -  roadway overtopping
Energy Dissipaters
Stilling Basins
Vertical Drops
Ice Flow
Debris Flow
Accept External Input Files Applicable 3-6 Accepts proprietary format rainfall data & equation files (.TBL, .EQN).
Produce Output Files Applicable 3-6 Produces proprietary format rainfall data &equation files (.TBL, .EQN). Cannot produce output files (other than regular .CVM data files) based on culvert data.
Water Surface Profile
Velocity Profile
Rating Curves Applicable Can produce plots of the following:
  • -  Headwater Elevation
  • -  Tailwater Elevation
  • -  Discharge (Individual Elements or Total)
  • -  Inlet Control HW Elev. (Indiv. Culvert)
  • -  Outlet Control HW Elev. (Indiv. Culvert)
  • -  Downstream Velocity (Indiv. Culvert)
  • -  Downstream Depth (Indiv. Culvert)
Rating tables Applicable Produces Rating tables of same data as above.
Cross Section
Flow Distribution
Tributary Profile
Multiple Profile
Automatic Calibration

Model Evaluation summary

  Yes No Comments
Applicable to MTO Yes

Additional Comments

The only place where the control type or flow regime is specified is the report form. This can only be seen by using print preview or by actually printing off the form.

The default n values for materials do not conform to values used in the DMM, but CulvertMaster allows users to change these values from the defaults.

Culvert Calculations:
Inlet control Headwater elevation is computed using the actual equations that the nomographs in the DMM are based on and therefore include a slope correction element. Nomographs in the DMM are assuming a slope of 0.02 m/m.

Rational Method Calculations:

  • -  If negative area values are input by the user, the program ignores negative areas in calculations — it treats them as ifthey do not exist.
  • -  If a C value greater than 1 is input by the user, the program displays an error message, but still uses the value in calculations.
  • -  If a negative C value is input by the user, the program displays an error message, and the weighted C value for the catchment area becomes zero.

Additional culvert or inlet sizes or materials can be added by editing the file MATERIAL.INI (found in the same folder as the CVM directory) with a text editor. Instructions on how to add items are located within the file itself. This method is not very intuitive, and prone to error by incorrectly inputting data.
Note: If a culvert size entry in the Material.ini file is altered, culverts of the effected type, material and size revert back to the default size for the culvert material and type (usually the smallest).

Figure 1: Sample input windows

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