Started 7th Apr, 2022

What is the average pressure in water distribution system and how to manage the unexpected pressure rise during operation?

The acceptable industry standards for water pressure is 140 kPa - 560 kPa. Domestic appliances operate under the intermediate pressure magnitudes. Topographic features and the increase of customer density cause deviations in water pressure throughout the supply system. In some cases, some water supply networks provide water in exaggerated high pressure to reach some customers in high altitude. This higher pressure accelerates the volume of water running out through unobserved leakages in supply system which results on microbursts of water pressure that may cause large scale failure and demands higher maintenance cost for water supply providers.
Dear researchers, what is your recommended solution to prevent these unnecessary pressure rise against transient scenarios?

Most recent answer

3rd Oct, 2022
Emmanuel V Murray
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
Safety valves and pressure release valves are the only way.

All replies (5)

8th Apr, 2022
Bachir Achour
Université de Biskra
In our country, the water company fixes the pressure at around 3 bars, ie the equivalent of 30 meters of the water column. The water, therefore, reaches a user who is 30 meters above the ground.
The installation of a pressure reducer makes it possible to regulate the untimely increase in pressure in the network. The pressure reducer, as its name suggests, reduces the pressure of the water in the public network when the latter becomes important.
Indeed, an overpressure can make the pipes noisy. You have certainly heard "water hammer" in a pipe. These noises come from the overpressure of the pipes which can then be damaged as well as certain hot water production devices.
You have two types of water pressure reducer:
1. preset at 3.5 bar;
2. adjustable, with or without pressure gauge: you can adjust the pressure yourself.
9th Apr, 2022
Farshid Rahmani
Pennsylvania State University
sometimes having a small pumping station for the high lat customers is beneficial.
1 Recommendation
12th Apr, 2022
John Machell
The University of Sheffield
Water network pressure is mostly dictated by the expected performance of the network in terms of supply continuity, and available pressure at consumers taps; (and water quality where required). This might be dictated by water supply legislation.
Factors affecting performance include, amongst others:
topography of the area
network inlet pressure
network storage facility operation
pumping operations / scheduling *
consumer demand *
demand patterns
condition of network assets such as corrosion / C value of the pipes
operational practice, e.g, closing and opening valves within the network *
Those factors above with an asterisk, *, are common causes of water hammer. Water hammer is generated by transient pressure waves travelling rapidly, back and forth, through the pipes in the network.
The objective of water network management, is to supply all connected customers, continually, whilst optimising network pressure for minimal leakage and burst pipes.
Flow meters, pressure transducers, AI systems and network modelling tools can be used to measure, understand, and optimise network performance.
The major assets used to manage network performance include: network storage facilities (service reservoirs), pressure reducing / sustaining valves, air release valves, pumps, and inter-network connections.
Pressure transients are controlled by ensuring there are no sudden / rapid changes in flow.
A lot of information, and case studies, are available on the internet.
15th Apr, 2022
Ephantus Ndirangu
Dedan Kimathi University of Technology
Gate valves and pressure relief tanks may be used at points where pressure rises are expected or rather where feasible use wider pipe diameter for the the transmission systems
3rd Oct, 2022
Emmanuel V Murray
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
Safety valves and pressure release valves are the only way.

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