• Stuart Mawditt

Dynamic Pressure Modelling

One of our lead products is our Dynamic Pressure Modelling platform which takes data from pressure and flow logging points and provides both reactive analysis for emerging events within DMAs and a greater understanding of the DMAs network configuration, customer demand and background leakage.

We have developed our system with a leading UK water company and our analysis has been used for the analysis of events in over 600 DMAs, using over 6,000 permanent pressure and flow loggers.

Reactive Analysis

By using both recent and historical performance in each DMA to establish a pattern of expected performance, we can compare live data from our DMAs to identify unexpected events. Our analysis routines correlate changes in flow profiles with pressure changes in the DMA to identify a root cause. By accurately understanding and classifying this root cause, for example as an eruptive burst, network operation or demand change, we can direct leakage teams to respond in the most direct and effective manner.

Figure 1 shows our reactive analysis at work in a client DMA. The area of interest allowed the Leakage Technician to spend significantly less time locating the burst than if they had to investigate the whole DMA.

Figure 1: Our reactive analysis at work in a client DMA

Proactive Analysis

We build hydraulic simulations of our client’s water networks and compare the outputs with the logged data coming from the permanent logging on the network. Whilst this has helped our clients to localise existing longstanding leaks on their networks, we have discovered a much greater benefit from working closely with our clients to resolve a wide range of causes for network anomalies, including network configuration and customer demand issues.

This anomaly investigation and resolution has included:

  • Identification of customer meters not included in corporate systems. Resolving these issues reduces reported leakage by increasing customer night use and demand allowances.

  • Identification of open boundary valves. DMA integrity is important to ensure targeting is done effectively and that companies can react with confidence to network events, minimising customer impacts.

  • Identification of incorrect GIS and valve status’ inside DMAs. It is not unusual for GIS to be slightly incorrect, ranging from abandoned mains which are still live to valves temporarily closed during previous incidents which haven’t been properly reopened. Often these issues cause confusion when responding to an event and can impact the networks performance from a water quality and pressure perspective.

  • Identification of customer created network transients. Where customers are taking water from the network in an erratic manner, either through direct pumping or by filling a tank they can cause transients to travel through the network. Our analysis allows us to identify underlying reasons for excessive bursts occurrence in parts of DMAs.

In the following example, the logged data identified a previously unmetered pumping station which fed three tower blocks. This was causing transients on the network but also created a large network of private supply pipe which was unmetered and unmaintained. Metering this network identified continuous leakage flow which the local leakage teams could work with the customer to resolve.

Figure 2: Onsite investigation identified a private supply feeding three tower blocks