Bursts Identification in Water Distribution Systems




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Peer reviewed



The leakage reduction problem as a whole is complex and requires co-ordinated actions in different areas of water network management, such as: direct detection and repair of existing bursts, general pipe rehabilitation programmes and operational pressure control. Water companies undertake a mixture of these complimentary actions. General pipe rehabilitation is the most costly and long term action, but is undertaken to improve a number of different factors including leakage and water quality. Operational pressure control is a cost-effective action for reducing leakage over whole sub-networks, and for reducing the risk of further leaks by smoothing pressure variations and is the subject of ongoing research. Detection and repair actions are targeted at sub-networks where bursts are present. Benefits of quick burst repair include reduced water losses, reduced disruption to traffic, reduced consequent losses (e.g. from flooding), and also reduced disruption to customers' supplies, which is an important water industry performance measure. The existing methods typically use passive identification approach whilst the presented approach is based on the active identification procedure. The proposed burst location algorithm is based on comparing data by means of statistical analysis from a simple field experiment with results of water network simulation. An extended network hydraulic simulator is used to model pressure dependent leakage terms. The presence of a burst changes the flow pattern and also pressure at network nodes, which may be used to estimate the burst size and its location. The influence of such random factors as demand flows and background leakage on the process of burst detection is also considered. The field experiment is an extended fixed and variable orifice (e-FAVOR) test. During this test inlet pressure is being stepped up and down and the following variables are measured: inlet flow, inlet pressure (head) and pressure at a number of selected sensitive nodes. The method consists of three stages and uses two different models; one is inlet flow model (IFM) to represent the total inlet flow and another is the extended hydraulic model to simulate different burst locations. Initially the presence of a potential burst is investigated. If this is confirmed values of the demand, background leakage flow and burst flow in IFM are subsequently estimated. These are used to identify the burst site at the third stage of the method. The approach has been validated by solving a practical case study with correct diagnosis of the existing problems.



water distribution system, bursts detection


Borovik, I., Ulanicki, B. and Skworcow, P. (2009) Bursts Identification in water distribution systems. World Environmental & Water Resources Congress 2009, May 17-21 in Kansas City, Missouri.


Research Institute