Water Distribution Modeling: The Perfect Tool for Water Supply System Administration

Discover why water distribution models are extremely important for troubleshooting distribution problems, planning capital improvements, and evaluating water quality.

Posted on: February 15, 2018

Want to learn how water distribution models can assist you with administering your water supply system? See below to find out.

Why a Water Distribution Model?

A water distribution model is one of the most important tools available for water supply system administrators.  It can help you with various aspects including design, maintenance, and operation.

Not only is it a key tool for the operation of your system, but it’s also extremely imperative for troubleshooting distribution problems, planning capital improvements, rehabilitation, designing system expansions, and evaluating water quality.

With continuous improvements in today’s computer capabilities, models of water distribution systems have become flexible and user-friendly, with graphic and tabular output that is easy to read and understand.

Uses of Water Distribution Models

1) Troubleshooting

  • Determine causes of low pressures
  • Assess problems affecting tank filling/emptying
  • Evaluate causes of deficient fire-flows

2) Vulnerability Assessment

  • Determine the reliability of the system under unfavorable conditions (e.g., power usage, pipe breaks, etc.)
  • Water Quality Modeling: evaluate effects of introducing a contaminant at one or more locations with the system (i.e., determining where the system is most sensitive to contamination)
  • Assess the ability of the system to provide adequate protection against fires

3) Emergency Planning

  • Develop strategies for minimizing the impact of system outages, contamination, and other emergencies so you can minimize “What if?” scenarios (e.g., fire in combination with power outages, pump out of services, etc.)
  • Respond to emergencies in real-time, predicting the influence of crisis events, as well as assessing the impact of various possible corrective actions
  • Evaluate past emergencies, understand their causes, study the effects of actions that were taken at that time (and actions that could have been taken), and evaluate alternative solutions

4) System Security

  • Master Planning (including both new development and rehabilitation)
  • Feasibility Study
  • Design new components (pipes, booster stations, and storage) and evaluate the impact of proposed improvements (pipe replacement and parallel pipes)
  • Design new developments/subdivisions
Jones & Henry and Water Distribution Modeling

We’ve developed numerous water distribution models to assist communities with designing needed improvements (such as water line extensions and reinforcements, elevated and ground storage, and booster stations) and troubleshooting existing problems.

When our study is complete, we can provide you with the system model for ongoing use.

Some services we provide for developing a water distribution model include:

  • Model development
  • Analysis of present and future conditions
  • Field testing of system pressure and flows
  • Training owner-employees in the use of the model

Do you use water distribution models regularly? If so, what are some of the main uses that help you the most?

Contact Jones & Henry

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