In the Netherlands, wastewater is collected in municipal areas and transported to centralised WWTPs by an extensive system of pressure mains. Over the last decades these pressure mains did not receive much attention in terms of monitoring of performance or maintenance. A recent inventory showed that half of the pressure mains show an increased pressure loss for no directly obvious reason. One of the many causes that account for the reduction of the flow capacity is the occurrence of free gas in the pipeline. During dry weather periods with low flow velocities, gas may accumulate at high points in the system. Once the velocity increases during storm weather flow, the air pockets may be broken down and transported to the end of the system. A research study is started focussing on the description of the gas-water phenomena in wastewater pressure mains with respect to transportation of gas. An experimental facility is constructed for the study of multi-phase flow. This paper describes the preliminary results of experiments on breakdown rates of gas pockets as a function of inclination angle and water flow rate. The results show an increasing breakdown rate with increasing inclination angle.

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