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The results from the fieldwork were compiled and pre-processed to include variables considered to be possible influencing factors in the regeneration of discolouration material including bulk water iron concentration, source water, coagulation treatment type, presence of upstream unlined cast iron pipes, pipe material, pipe diameter, daily hydraulic conditions and configuration. The type of the site refers to a subjective classification based on the flow route – ‘main’ refers to pipe lengths that do not terminate in a dead end and are not part of a loop, ‘loop’ referring to an area likely to be affected by flow reversals or so-called ‘tidal points’ due to multiple potential flow paths, and dead end being self-explanatory. Some of the variables were binary or ordinal/nominally encoded and these are detailed in Table 1. Most materials were either cast iron (all unlined) or a plastic.

Table 1

Encoding for discrete discolouration factors

ValueSupplyTreatmentUpstream ironPipe materialAreaDead endLoopMain
     Not DE Not loop Not main 
Ground None None PE/PVC Urban DE Loop Main 
Blend Al Coag Minor AC Rural    
Surface Fe Coag Significant CI     
ValueSupplyTreatmentUpstream ironPipe materialAreaDead endLoopMain
     Not DE Not loop Not main 
Ground None None PE/PVC Urban DE Loop Main 
Blend Al Coag Minor AC Rural    
Surface Fe Coag Significant CI     

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