ACTUI Network

Advanced Computer Technology for Underground Infrastructure

What's New
Seminar 2004


A joint proposal of Imperial College and Exeter University

Imperial College:     Prof. N. Graham (Principal Investigator; Prof. D. Butler 
(Co-Investigator); Prof. C. Maksimovic (Research Fellow); Prof. B. Karney 
(Visiting Academic, University of Toronto)

Exeter University:     Prof. D. Savic (Principal Investigator), Prof. G. Walters 
(Co-Investigator) and Dr. Soon-Thiam Khu (Co-Investigator); Dr Zoran Kapelan 
(Research Fellow)

The proposed research programme will extend the INVERSE TRANSIENT METHODOLOGY for leak detection and quantification to WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS. The inverse transient technique combines a transient solver with an optimisation model and involves pressure measurements during a transient event in a pipeline. Inverse mathematics is then used to compute the parameters (pipe roughness) and the state of the system (leaks). The methodology has been validated in a pipeline (both in the laboratory and field) but NOT in a NETWORK which requires an extensive Field Testing Programme using a sophisticated data acquisition system. The field tests will provide a unique set of data which will be used to develop a precise solver for modelling hydraulic transients in distribution networks and to extend and validate the developed inverse transient methodology for leak detection in distribution systems. Leaks are not only a waste of water, they are also pathways for a contaminated water to be drawn back into a water supply system. 

The second main goal of the research programme will be to validate the occurrence of low and negative pressures in distribution systems as a result of hydraulic transients that can cause pathogen intrusions in a water supply system. Laboratory data from the existing pipe rig at Imperial College will be used to quantify the volume of a possible intrusion. These data together with the results of the transient solver for sub-atmospheric pressure levels will be used to quantify potential intrusions in a water supply system.

The main objective of this proposal is to improve and validate existing 
hydraulic transient solvers for their use in water distribution systems (WDS) 
by extensive field data collection and numerical validation. Two major 
applications of transient solvers will be carefully explored:

  (i) leak detection and quantification;  

(ii) prediction of negative pressure events in a distribution system which can potentially cause microbial intrusion. 

Specific objectives are:

1. To expand and validate the developed inverse transient method for leak detection and quantification into water distribution networks (WDN). This will include 

(i) EXTENSIVE FIELD TESTS of hydraulic transients in WDN by using a 
high number of measurement points with a high frequency of data acquisition; 

(ii) Resolving modelling issues such as dissipation of hydraulic transients in 
distribution networks; 

(iii) Considering sources of uncertainty in modelling hydraulic transients in WDN;

2. To validate the occurrence of low pressures in WDN that occur as a result of hydraulic transients and can cause pathogen intrusions. This will include 

(i) To use the FIELD TESTS to validate the occurrence of low pressures in WDN;

(ii) To perform experimental tests at the existing pipe rig at IC to quantify the 
volume of a possible intrusion; 

(iii) To validate the developed transient solvers for modelling the occurrence of sub-atmospheric pressure both in laboratory and WDN; 

(iv) To quantify potential intrusions associated with various transient conditions in WDN;  

(v) To provide operational advice with respect to transient control so that the water companies can develop control strategies for protecting the distribution systems from pathogen intrusions due to hydraulic transients.


For problems or questions regarding this web contact [].
Last updated: May 06, 2003.

Copyright 2003.