Introducing SammEE

Welcome to 2014 everyone! In exciting news, Essential Environmental has been formally accepted to present our new piece of groundwater modelling software SAMMEE at the 2014 Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium in February, as well as the IPWEA state conference in March.

In case you missed our blog article on the introduction of SAMMEE to the greater world posted at Christmas time last year, please read on!

The rapid development of Perth, high land prices and resultant sprawl has meant that urban development is now occurring in areas which have been avoided until now: relatively low-lying land affected by shallow groundwater which is often seasonally wet.

The most common approach to managing wet land and shallow groundwater in Perth has been to import fill to raise the finished surface level of a development and/or install subsurface drainage systems to control any rise in water levels that may result from reduced evapotranspiration. However, local fill material is becoming less available and more expensive.


The availability of fill is decreasing while its cost is increasing

In addition, the current design criteria for such conditions under different development scenarios is largely based on the experience of local authorities, and a theoretical steady state response of shallow groundwater systems to large rainfall events. This approach simplifies a relatively complex issue and overlooks key, localised system responses which need to be understood in order to provide a complete assessment of a local water balance in an urban development.

To obtain a more accurate representation of local responses to actual rainfall patterns and altered water balances Essential Environmental has developed purpose built software which allows users to examine the effect of various management approaches on seasonal groundwater levels.

Essential Environmental proudly presents its 1-dimensional groundwater model:


(shallow aquifer management model)

A shot of SammEE in action

A shot of SammEE in action

This simple and robust groundwater model simulates subsurface flows in shallow groundwater systems. It allows users to obtain a complete assessment of a local water balance in order to understand the key issues connected to shallow groundwater systems at their site, thereby providing a greater level of confidence for those having to identify and design for appropriate separation to groundwater.

Some key advantages of SammEE include:

  • Simplicity of use – users can easily setup models to analyse changes to surface treatments or variability in conditions;
  • An ability to assess local responses to actual rainfall data – the model allows assessment of groundwater conditions over time as driven by seasonal and acute rainfall patterns rather than relying on a static assessment;
  • Allowing representation of variability and changes to surface water runoff by incorporating different catchment parameters for each “cell” within the section;
  • The ability to represent the impact of limiting infiltration capacity in hybrid soakage/drainage systems;
  • Flexible model definition that allows the user to represent spatial variability in hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer and the location of underlying impervious material;
  • Outputs which include a time varying flow rates and discharge volumes to model boundaries which can be used to estimate flow rates in subsoil systems;
  • Quantifying drainage of groundwater through surface flow paths; and
  • Providing flexibility in pre-processing of inputs and interrogation of results.

The initial development phase for SammEE is now complete and we are very excited to make it available for use by the broader network of environmental and engineering professionals.

We are offering SammEE free for use by non-commercial users (government, students and education). Users with a commercial interest will be provided with a trial license and will be required to purchase a license if they are going to use outputs for commercial purposes.

SammEE is now available for download here:

Download button

Essential Environmental is confident that SammEE can assist our industry in better understanding and making decisions around shallow groundwater systems. Please feel free to give SammEE a trial run and share it with others you may think might benefit or have interest.

A technical paper providing information on the development of SammEE is available to assist users here:

SammEE_IPWEA paper

If you are having any issues that need trouble-shooting, or would like to offer any feedback, please contact Essential Environmental and let us know!

4 responses to “Introducing SammEE

  1. Pingback: Hydrology & Water Resources Symposium 2014 | The Essential Current·

  2. Pingback: SammEE gets an upgrade – Mappazzo·

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