Water Modeling: A Valuable Tool to Ensure the Sustainability of your Water Distribution System

With the help of water modeling software such as WaterCAD and EPANET,  SSM can analyze and improve your municipality’s current water infrastructure while helping you plan for changes and expansions to your distribution system in the future.

By providing real-world ongoing simulation of your municipality’s hydraulic and water quality behavior, our modeling services visualize every variable and interrelation within a water distribution network. With various applications, water modeling provides solutions to everything from determining fire hydrant flow pressure in a given area, to determining the correct modifications needed in tank filling and emptying schedules to reduce water age.

After working closely with a client to determine the exact problems at hand, we proceed by acquiring the data from the given water distribution network. This means we must create; then, we must calibrate! We begin with utilizing our GIS data technology services to create a map of your current distribution network, including the locations of all pumps, pipes, valves, water mains, storage tanks, and interconnection points. Other helpful information includes dates of installation, water usage information, meter data, tank flows, etc. 

Next, it is essential to calibrate the model. This involves conducting hydro flow tests to refine and update the existing model so that it better represents the detailed conditions to-date. Once calibration is completed, the model can be used to identify areas of concern and evaluate potential solutions. Models can be utilized to determine if adequate pressure and fire flow can be provided to new developments or service areas as well as evaluating the effects of different pumps, valves and pipe diameters on flow and pressure. Water modeling can help both urban and rural areas plan and improve their water system’s hydraulic performance.

In addition to illustrating where performance issues originate, water modeling can also identify which areas of a water network are susceptible to, or already have water main deterioration. Other SSM water quality modeling applications include helping our clients address concerns related to high water age, poor water quality, high concentrations of disinfectant products, disinfectant loss and byproduct formation, and chlorine residual concentrations. Modeling is also a useful tool in vulnerability and energy minimization studies conducted to improve the overall quality and operation of a distribution system.

The potential of water modeling services to help clients gain insight into the state of their service area’s water quality and network is vital to its’ ultimate sustainability. Modeling has proven to be a valuable tool in both identifying solutions to current issues at hand, as well as preventing those that may be unforeseen.