The dynamics of a storage pipe is examined using a grey-box model based on on-line measured data. The grey-box modelling approach uses a combination of physically-based and empirical terms in the model formulation. The model provides an on-line state estimate of the overflows, pumping capacities and available storage capacity in the pipe as well as predictions of future states. A linear overflow relation is found, differing significantly from the traditional modelling approach. This is due to complicated overflow structures in a hydraulic sense where the overflow is governed by inertia from the inflow to the overflow structures. The capacity of a pump draining the storage pipe has been estimated for two rain events, revealing that the pump was malfunctioning during the first rain event. The grey-box modelling approach is applicable for automated on-line surveillance and control. (C) 1997 IAWQ. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.