Houston Surface Water Transmission Program

At a glance

Houston, Texas

City of Houston

Project Summary

IMS Engineers is part of the City of Houston’s Surface Water Transmission Program (SWTP) Management Team charged with review, development and evaluation of elements associated with waterline transmission lines greater than 20-inch diameter.  The SWTP is a multi-year contract with the City of Houston, Houston Publics Works (HPW) department to manage and oversee their large diameter surface water transmission lines.  General scope of work items include the following:


  1. Review Previous Studies. Previous recommendations will be evaluated and re-considered as part of preliminary engineering design. Previous studies include the following:
  • Preliminary Engineering Reports
  • Planning and CIP information
  • City will provide electronic copies of these studies to Consultant and provide hard copy if electronic copies are not available.
  • Additional information that may be available from the City

  1. Data Collection. This effort involves collecting data from available sources to establish existing and future site conditions where applicable.
  2. Field Investigations for Alternative Alignments. Conduct field investigations to confirm existing site conditions along alternative route corridors.
  3. Coordination with Pipeline Companies. This effort includes coordination with affected pipeline companies for determining pipeline locations, crossing requirements, and possible pipeline relocations.
  4. Utility Relocations. Effort focuses on identifying existing utilities that may pose conflicts with new transmission line.
  5. Permitting Requirements. Identify permits that will be required for approval of the project.
  6. Prepare Permitting and Utility Coordination Matrix. Based on permitting requirements identified regulatory agencies having jurisdiction over the project, permits and approvals required.
  7. Pipe Material Evaluation and Life Cycle Cost Analysis. Develop a pipe material evaluation and life cycle cost analysis (LCA) for each alternative alignment.
  8. Traffic Impacts Evaluation: Meet with City of Houston Traffic and discuss potential traffic impacts for each alignment and/or transmission project.
  9. Hydraulic Modeling – Purpose of this task is to confirm pipeline sizing, pressure class, and other related hydraulic parameters for each alternative alignment.
  10. Prepare Opinion of Probable Total Project Cost (OPPC): Prepare opinion of probable total project cost to include engineering, real estate, and construction costs.
  11. Water Quality and SEWPP Operational Issues. Assess potential water quality issues resulting from low initial flow velocities and demands.