Abstract

Technical best practices recommend pressure control as an effective countermeasure to reduce leakages in water distribution networks (WDNs). Information and communication technologies allow driving pressure reducing valves (PRVs) in real-time based on pressure observed at remote control nodes (remote real-time controlRRTC), going beyond the limitations of classic PRV control (i.e. with target pressure node just downstream of the device). Nowadays, advanced hydraulic models are able to simulate both RRTC-PRVs and classic PRVs accounting for unreported and background leakages as diffused pressure-dependent outflows along pipes. This paper studies how such models are relevant to support pressure control strategies at both planning and operation stages on the real WDN of Oppegård (Norway). The advanced hydraulic model permits demonstration that RRTC-PRVs in place of existing classic PRVs might reduce unreported and background leakages by up to 40%. The same analysis unveils that advanced models provide reliable evaluation of leakage reduction efforts, overcoming the inconsistencies of lumped indexes like the Infrastructure Leakage Index (ILI). Thereafter, the model allows comparison of three strategies for the real-time electric regulation of PRVs in some of the planned scenarios, thus supporting real-time operation of RRTC-PRVs.

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