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The effect of pressure on leakage in water distribution systems

The effect of pressure on leakage in water distribution systems
The effect of pressure on leakage in water distribution systems
The results of pressure management field studies have shown that the leakage exponent is often considerably higher than the theoretical orifice value of 0.5. The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyse factors that may be responsible for the higher leakage exponents. Four factors are considered: leak hydraulics, pipe material behaviour, soil hydraulics and water demand. It is concluded that a significant proportion of background leakage can consist of transitional flow, and thus have a leakage coefficient value above 0.5 (although not above 1). An important factor is pipe material behaviour: laboratory test results are presented to show that pipe material behaviour can explain the range of leakage exponents observed in the field. The complexity of the interaction between a leaking pipe and its surrounding soil is discussed and it is concluded that the relationship between pressure and leakage is unlikely to be linear. Finally, it is noted that if water demands are present in minimum night flows, the resulting leakage exponent is probably underestimating the true value.
hydraulics, hydrodynamics, pipes, pipelines, water supply
109-114
Clayton, C.R.I.
8397d691-b35b-4d3f-a6d8-40678f233869
van Zyl, J.E.
1c80be58-ce15-49dd-a65f-e63605673332
Clayton, C.R.I.
8397d691-b35b-4d3f-a6d8-40678f233869
van Zyl, J.E.
1c80be58-ce15-49dd-a65f-e63605673332

Clayton, C.R.I. and van Zyl, J.E. (2007) The effect of pressure on leakage in water distribution systems. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Water Management, 160 (WM2), 109-114. (doi:10.1680/wama.2007.160.2.109).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The results of pressure management field studies have shown that the leakage exponent is often considerably higher than the theoretical orifice value of 0.5. The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyse factors that may be responsible for the higher leakage exponents. Four factors are considered: leak hydraulics, pipe material behaviour, soil hydraulics and water demand. It is concluded that a significant proportion of background leakage can consist of transitional flow, and thus have a leakage coefficient value above 0.5 (although not above 1). An important factor is pipe material behaviour: laboratory test results are presented to show that pipe material behaviour can explain the range of leakage exponents observed in the field. The complexity of the interaction between a leaking pipe and its surrounding soil is discussed and it is concluded that the relationship between pressure and leakage is unlikely to be linear. Finally, it is noted that if water demands are present in minimum night flows, the resulting leakage exponent is probably underestimating the true value.

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More information

Published date: June 2007
Keywords: hydraulics, hydrodynamics, pipes, pipelines, water supply

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 53140
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/53140
PURE UUID: 378620f1-2a2b-4146-91d3-5a76307dd4da
ORCID for C.R.I. Clayton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0071-8437

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Jul 2008
Last modified: 24 May 2019 00:37

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Contributors

Author: C.R.I. Clayton ORCID iD
Author: J.E. van Zyl

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