FAQs: Still need help?

We have compiled our users’ most frequently asked questions (FAQs). We hope the answers help you as much as they helped them. Please contact Q if you have a question that is not listed on our help center.

What is a water management model?

A water management is a generic term that includes water resource management, stormwater management, water supply management etc. A water management model is a model – nowadays usually digital – of the management of the water in the environment, whether urban or rural. That model aims to replicate the behavior of the water in this environment, whether water going through pipes, catchments or else. It will also include the management of water across the infrastructure and environment. It tends to replicate the past and present to be able to understand the future, and answering what-if questions. A few example of what-if questions could be:
  • What if the local population increases by 20% in 20 years?
  • What if there is no access to a specific source of water?
  • What if a storm with a 100 year return period hits this area?
To answer these questions, new parameters are entered into the model that simulate a specific scenario. Qatium is a water management platform, currently focused on water supply, that allows the users to ask what-if questions and create scenarios to answer them.

What is the most used modeling engine?

Distribution networks

EPANET engine is the most used engine in the world. Beyond the EPANET application itself, Qatium, InfoWater (Pro), WaterGEMS – and others – are using an EPANET engine in their solution. Even water modeling solutions with proprietary engine (like InfoWorks WS and Sinergee) can export to EPANET format.

Waste and storm water networks

SWMM engine is the most used engine in the world. Beyond the EPA SWMM application itself, InfoSWMM, PCSWMM – many others – are using the SWMM engine in their solution. Even water modeling solutions with proprietary engine (like InfoWorks ICM) can export to the EPA SWMM format. 


What is sensor data?

Sensor data is a generic phrase that means any data collected by a sensor (also called IoT device). Sensor data is also called live data, real-time data or near real-time data. SCADA data and AMI data are two examples of sensor data.


How do I fix negative pressures in my hydraulic model?

Fixing negative pressure could be a really big exercise, and it is difficult for me to you a definitive answer. Although, for the most part, it’s all about checking if the elevations are correct. If the asset elevation data are exact, you would need to check if there are any high headloss upstream of those negative pressures in the network.


What does Qatium mean?

Qatium – pronounced kay-tee-um – was created from the mathematical variable for flow: Q and from the latin suffix -ium widely used for naming elements. Hence, Qatium is a new element based on the flow.


Why use Qatium?

Water operators, engineers and managers use Qatium to optimize their water systems to meet the challenges of climate change, population growth and aging infrastructure. With Qatium, water professionals can better understand network behavior, optimize system performance, and ensure continuity and resilience by proactively protecting assets and communities. All types of water professionals from around the world use Qatium. With that said our users are mainly water operators, leak technician, field engineers, modelers – whether in water authorities or consultancies – and managers.


What can Qatium do?

The list is long and in no way exhaustive: Qatium can help you:

  • understand your water network better,
  • have a single source of the truth,
  • ease the knowledge transfer to new staff,
  • attract talent by using modern and easy to use tool,
  • retain talent,
  • keep your partners accountable, whether colleagues or external collaborators,
  • frame, display and promote your project,
  • improve your model building time,
  • reduce the workload on your hydraulic modelers,
  • make operators more autonomous,
  • allow faster operational decisions,
  • lower your operational budget,
  • verify your fireflow capacity,
  • plan unidirectional flushing,
  • draft new development proposals,
  • understand what valves to operate for pipe isolation,
  • visualize the impacts of network operations on your customers,
  • plan operations and maintenance activities,
  • integrate your live data,
  • create a real-time model,
  • create a digital twin,
  • and more…


How can I learn how to use Qatium?

Very easily! Qatium has a simple interface for an easy learning curve. We recommend starting with our Getting Started Tutorial and our 2-min introduction video, to learn Qatium in no time.  


What is the latest version of Qatium?

Qatium is releasing functionality as soon as they are developed and tested. As a result, the latest version of Qatium is the one you are accessing and using. By not limiting access to the latest version of Qatium, we want to provide everyone with the ability to grow, adopt better practices with better tools and outperform yesterday.  


What is the difference between EPANET and Qatium?

EPANET is a public software tool created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It uses a mathematical engine, the EPANET engine, used for solving hydraulic equations. This engine is the most largely used engine in the water industry. Some popular software packages using this engine include: Qatium, InfoWater (Pro) and WaterGEMS/WaterCAD. Qatium is a water management platform that empowers water operators and modelers to create models, perform operational scenarios and connect live data.  

What are the different measurement units used in Qatium?

Qatium uses the same units as the EPANET engine either imperial (US) or international system (SI): “gpm”, “cfs”, “mgd”, “imgd”, “afd”, ”psi”, “ft”, “lps”, “lpm”, “mld”, “cmh”, “cmd”,”mwc” and “m”. What unit do you use? Tell us if you are having trouble with units in Qatium.


Who to ask for network information in my organization?

As a utility, the first step would be to ask the hydraulic modeling team for a hydraulic model, they may be using InfoWater, WaterCAD, WaterGEMS, EPANET or another hydraulic modelling software. They will need to provide it to you as an EPANET model, which can be export from all major modelling software packages (see FAQ below).
If you don’t have a modeling team, you might have a GIS or asset management team. They will be able to give you more information about the available network information – whether hydraulic model or GIS dataset.
If you don’t have a GIS or asset management team, we recommend getting in touch with the consultants or contractors you worked with, they should have more information.
A hydraulic model may have been created for you by a consultant as part of your water master plan, and they should be able to provide a copy for you.


We don’t use EPANET. Can we still use Qatium?

Yes! Most water modeling applications (including InfoWater Pro and WaterGEMS) are using EPANET in the background and can export to EPANET. We described below how to export to EPANET in 4 clicks or less.


How to create an EPANET file for Qatium?

To create an .inp file from EPANET 2.2, go to File > Export > Network.

To create an .inp file from WaterGEMS, go to File > Export > EPANET – Choose No – use element ID’s option.

To create an .inp file from InfoWater Pro, go to the Model Explorer > Command Center > Exchange group > Export EPANET
For more details you can visit: InfoWater Pro Help – Exporting to EPANET

To create an .inp file from InfoWorks WS Pro, in the explorer panel, right-click on the network you want to export, select Export > EPANET V2
For more details you can visit: InfoWorks Pro Help – Exporting to EPANET  


Why do I get errors when uploading a model?

There can be multiple reasons why you had an error during your model import. We listed the most common ones:

Wrong file type

EPANET has different types of files: .net (the network file), .inp (the input file) and .out (the output or result file). Qatium requires the upload of an EPANET input file (.inp). If you have uploaded an .inp file and are still receiving an error, we recommend opening this .inp file with EPANET 2.2 and reviewing any error messages provided.

IDs to long

When exporting from other software vendors to .inp or from EPANET 2.0, IDs can exceed 31 characters which are not supported in Qatium nor EPANET 2.2. We recommend trimming those IDs down to a maximum of 31 characters.

No Coordinates

Qatium is a map based application and need coordinates in order to place your network on the map. Qatium does not support references to a map file. We recommend adding coordinates to your assets.  


Why do I get an error when uploading GIS data?

Qatium requires the upload of all the shapefiles. This includes the .shp, .shx, .dbf and .prj files. Please note that some modelling packages do not create a .prj file when exporting data to shapefiles. We recommend opening the files in your GIS software, such as QGIS or ArcGIS, assigning the correct projection and resaving the files. For more information about shapefiles, you can read this article.  


Why my GIS data isn’t mapped to the right asset?

When importing GIS data, Qatium will try to interpret the data and assign an asset type to each uploaded file. If you notice that Qatium couldn’t recognize your dataset, we recommend renaming your files to end as “_assettype” eg. mynetwork_valves.geojson

Asset type Recommended file suffix
Junctions _junctions
Pumps _pumps
Sources _sources
Tanks _tanks
Valves _valves

Please note that pipe feature files will be determined by their shape – line or polyline.

Other GIS imports

You can import demand patterns and simple control rules in Qatium along with your asset data. the demand pattern zone file is required to be a polygon or multi-polygon file with a demandpattern field. Simple control rules are supported in Qatium, the syntax must follow the EPANET control syntax. You can include the control rules in a field named [“rule”, “rules”] in the pipes, valves and pumps files.  


Where does the elevation data come from?

When importing GIS data, Qatium enriches your GIS data with elevation. The elevation data comes from Google elevation API, which depending where your model is located could be originating from USGS, NASA or another elevation data gathering organization.  


How can I get my validation code?

When you sign up or sign in to Qatium, you will be sent a secure verification code to the email you’ve specified. Check your junk or spam folders if you can’t see it, or enter an alternative email. Please contact Q if you are still experiencing issues.  


What happens to my data on Qatium?

Your data is encrypted and stored securely via Amazon Web Services. At no point does a Qatium employee have access to it without your permission. You can delete your models from the user interface at any time, all data will be removed from the cloud. If you wish to delete all data, including your account, you may request for Qatium to do so. Qatium does not share, publish or monetize your data. Please read our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions for further information.  


How do I connect my SCADA or AMI data?

You can send your SCADA data through our REST API endpoint. That way we ensure the highest level of data security from your standpoint, as the platform will only be able to see the data you specifically send to us. We want you to be in control of your data; allowing you to change the volume, type or frequency of the data sent through the API. We would love to hear about your project and your use of SCADA or/and AMI data. Contact Q to let us know. Please visit our Integration & API section to view our API Documentation.  


Can I retrieve, delete or update data through the API?

The Ingest API is an append only API, if you wish to delete part or all of the data you submitted through the Ingest API, please contact Q.  


What happens if two values are submitted for the same asset with identical timestamps?

Qatium will use the last value received. The previous value(s) will be ignored and not visible in the application.  


Do you accept epoch time format?

Yes, we also accept epoch time format if that’s your preferred flavor. Epoch times will always be considered UTC.  


Do we need to send AMI data to another endpoint URL?

No, Qatium will process the data as AMI if a flow feed is associated with a junction and as SCADA if the flow feed is associated with a pipe. If you would rather send the raw meter readings instead of flow data, please contact Q.  


What are the system requirements to use Qatium?

Qatium works on any recent desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device. A wireless connection or 4G connection is recommended. Qatium runs best on Google Chrome but works on the browser of your choice.  


Why is the background layer not visible?

When importing an input file (.inp), our assistant Q will start a wizard to help you define the projection of your model. If you skip or ignore this step, Qatium will not be able to determine the projection and location of your model; and no background map will be displayed.  


How can I find my map projection?

Qatium is using the EPSG referencing to display the recommended projections. If you don’t know the EPSG reference of your projection, we recommend you search for your projection at http://epsg.io/ or ask your GIS team or hydraulic modelling team that built the model what projection system that was used.  


Are flows based on actual model simulations?

Yes, the flow visualisations are based on the flow direction, a value calculated from the hydraulic model.  


What is the hourly pattern applied to my model?

If the model is a steady state model, Qatium assigns a default hourly pattern, and applies the same demand for the 24 time-steps.  


What are network levels?

Water supply networks can be divided in three parts or levels. The section from the source to the water to the water supply treatment plant. This section transports raw water and is usually composed of large pipes or channels. This is the transmission line. After the treatment plant, there are two other levels: the arterial, consisting of the larger pipes in the network, and the distribution that includes all the rest of the network, providing water up to the consumer.