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This Wiki page outlines recommended steps for the conversion of an XPSWMM model to TUFLOW.

XPSWMM is a flood and urban stormwater drainage modeling software developed by Autodesk (previously Innovyze and XP Solutions). The XPSWMM solution uses EPA SWMM for its 1D calculations, dynamically linked to TUFLOW for its 2D calculations. The software functions within a custom build Graphical User Interface (GUI). Unknown to many XPSWMM modelers, during simulation, XPSWMM processes its inputs into TUFLOW files and also calls TUFLOW for the 2D calculations. As XPSWMM uses TUFLOW for its 2D engine, like-for-like results can be achieved using this software. TUFLOW is the natural replacement for XPSWMM for people who are looking for an alternative solution following Autodesk's recent XPSWMM pricing, licensing, and support changes.

Common user feedback suggests the XPSWMM GUI is useful for simple modeling projects; however, it can become cumbersome and workflow inefficient when dealing with larger datasets and/or a large volume of different scenario and event simulations. In response to requests from USA XPSWMM users who want to convert XPSWMM models into a native TUFLOW format, TUFLOW linkage with 1D EPA Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) was added as a supported feature in TUFLOW 2023-03-AD release. The modeling workflow in TUFLOW differs from XPSWMM, as TUFLOW modeling is integrated with QGIS (Geographical Information System) GIS software. This is, however, a net positive. GIS integration is well-suited for working with larger datasets. Additionally, the structural design associated with TUFLOW modeling makes its general workflow extremely efficient, particularly for the automated management of multiple scenarios and events.

If you are building a TUFLOW SWMM model from scratch, not from XPSWMM, please refer to the TUFLOW SWMM Tutorials. Tutorials are provided for the following topics:

Dataset Download

The XPSWMM model used for this model conversion demonstration, and the resulting TUFLOW model that is created, are available for download here: XPSWMM to TUFLOW Model Conversion Dataset. The models are found in the XPSWMM and TUFLOW folders respectively.

If you are using this example conversion dataset, please rerun the XPSWMM model in the location where you save the dataset before beginning your own TUFLOW model conversion. Rerunning the model is necessary because XPSWMM will write TUFLOW files during its preprocessing, subsequently defining the correct file path information (for the location where you saved your files) in the newly written TUFLOW files. We also recommend creating your own TUFLOW model in a different folder from the provided TUFLOW dataset so you can easily compare your model against it.

TUFLOW Licensing / XPSWMM Discount

If you are an existing or past XPSWMM perpetual license owner who would like to purchase a TUFLOW license, please contact sales@tuflow.com. You may be eligible for a XPSWMM / TUFLOW discount in recognition of past royalties Autodesk paid TUFLOW if you previously purchased an XPSWMM perpetual license.

XPSWMM to TUFLOW Model Conversion

Two Dimensional (2D) Model Elements

XPSWMM writes TUFLOW model files during its preprocessing of the model inputs defined in its GUI (prior to the hydraulic calculations). By default, XPSWMM usually writes the TUFLOW files to the 2D\Data folder. For use by TUFLOW, some 2D model elements within the XPSWMM model must be exported and formatted. To accomplish this, please follow the links provided below:

  1. Digital Terrain Model (DTM) Data Processing
  2. Convert XPSWMM Model to Recommended TUFLOW Structure
  3. Load Model in QGIS

One Dimensional (1D) SWMM Model Elements

The 1D culvert, pipe network, and sub-catchment hydrology EPA SWMM items from XPSWMM require exporting and reconfiguring for compatibility with TUFLOW. Please follow the suggested workflow and instructions provided in the links below:

  1. Export 1D EPA SWMM Pipe Network Data from XPSWMM
  2. Configure 1D EPA SWMM Pipe Network Data for TUFLOW
  3. Export SWMM Hydrology
  4. Update SWMM Junction Data
  5. Export Updated SWMM INP Files

TUFLOW Control Files Updates

The linking between 2D TUFLOW and 1D SWMM is established within the TUFLOW control files. The following sections (linked below) outline the basic commands needed to complete the linking process and execute the model. These tasks require the use of a text editor. The tutorial demonstration uses Notepad++. For configuration information, refer to Notepad++ Tips. For a clean and organized model, it is recommended to name all the TUFLOW control files similarly. For example, 1D2D_Urban_001.tscf, 1D2D_Urban_001.tbc, 1D2D_Urban_001.tgc, and 1D2D_Urban_5m_001.tcf.

Note: For this demonstration, all commands will reference the datasets in the provided conversion model. Please update these references with the filenames used in your model if you are using these steps as a guide to convert your own XPSWMM model to TUFLOW.

  1. TUFLOW SWMM Control File (TSCF)
  2. TUFLOW Boundary Control File (TBC)
  3. TUFLOW Geometry Control File (TGC)
  4. TUFLOW Control File (TCF)
  5. Optional: Format TUFLOW Control Files

TUFLOW Simulation Execution

Set up a simple batch file (.bat) to run TUFLOW. This approach calls the TUFLOW executable file (.exe) and runs the TCF file.

  1. Create a new text file in the TUFLOW\runs folder and save as _run_HPC.bat.
  2. Open the _run_HPC.bat in a text editor and include a file path to the TUFLOW executable and the TCF name:
    "..\..\exe\2023-03-AD\TUFLOW_iSP_w64.exe" 1D2D_Urban_001.tcf
    Note: A relative path is used for the executable and the TCF, full file path can also be used.
  3. Save the batch file and double click it in Windows File Explorer to run the simulation. This will open the TUFLOW DOS Console Window and the simulation should be executed.

TUFLOW simulations can be executed via numerous ways. A comprehensive summary of the most commonly used approaches is documented in the Running TUFLOW Wiki page.


Did your TUFLOW SWMM model fail to run successfully? If so, here is a link to a troubleshooting guide: TUFLOW SWMM Troubleshooting.

TUFLOW SWMM Result Viewing

Are you familiar with loading and viewing TUFLOW results in QGIS? If not, we strongly recommend self-registering and completing our free eLearning: Introduction to QGIS for TUFLOW.
Our TUFLOW SWMM Tutorials also demonstrate working with TUFLOW SWMM results.

Recommended Further Reading

For users who wish to get a better understanding of either 2D TUFLOW or 1D EPA SWMM, the following resources may be of use:
TUFLOW: www.tuflow.com

EPA SWMM: www.epa.gov

Feedback / Suggestions

We hope you have found this model conversion page helpful. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please email support@tuflow.com.

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