Resuspension of accumulated particles in residential networks is the main cause for customers to complain to the water company about the water quality. Preventing the particles from accumulating in these networks can be achieved by high velocities in pipes. Adding this velocity criterion to the conventional design criteria leads to a branched lay out of distribution networks, that perform better with respect to water quality, continuity of supply and investment costs. In close cooperation with fire brigades the conventional fire flow requirements were challenged. Based on modern building codes, it proved possible to reduce the capacity of fire-hydrants to 8.3 l/s (30 m3/h) in newly built areas. Six years after the introduction of the velocity criterion the characteristics of the newly laid networks have changed resulting in smaller diameter pipes and reduced length of networks. The amount of 100/110 mm pipes have dropped from 55% of the total length to 45% of total length. The total investment costs for new networks have dropped by 20% in the Netherlands.

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