Using advanced monitoring & hydraulic analysis with pressure-transient behaviour

Inflowmatix Case Study with De Watergroep
The issue
De Watergroep is the biggest drinking water and industrial water company in the Flanders, the northern region of Belgium. They were aware of large pressure transients occurring in parts of their distribution network. As such, they were looking for a partner to investigate the issue using advanced monitoring and hydraulic analysis techniques. Depending on the outcomes of these tests, they intended to implement corrective actions at localised event sources to achieve greater consistency in the pressure across the water network.

Following a competitive process, Inflowmatix, a SUEZ company, was awarded the contract. Our InflowSense™ ‘Edge’ high-frequency devices were subsequently deployed to help De Watergroep identify the time, magnitude and frequency of transient events within their network. They assisted in identifying the source location of events, allowing targeted remedial actions.

The five-month study focused on 8 District Metered Areas (DMA’s) in the municipality of Heuvelland and Poperinge. The pipeline had a total length of 624 kilometres (388 miles). It served a mix of domestic and industrial consumers.

Our collaboration with Inflowmatix was very beneficial. Their ‘localisation’ algorithm and Cumulative Induced Pressure Stress metric (CPIS™) delivered excellent insights that would not have been identifiable otherwise.

Francis Volckaert , Program Manager Asset Information, De Watergroep

The solution
Based on a collaborative review of the area, Inflowmatix partner SUEZ/CNS, deployed 45 InflowSense™ ‘Edge’ devices. This covered a number of strategic locations typically associated with pressure-transient behaviour.

The pressure profiles in the area being examined were characterised using our Cumulative Pressure Induced Stress metric (CPIS™). It provided an understanding of the overall network performance. The metric also revealed the impact from changes in network control and consumer behaviour.

The high-frequency (128 S/s) event-detection algorithm captured and characterised the magnitude and frequency of potentially damaging pressure-transient behaviour within all the district metered areas. Source localisation was performed to further analyse the cause of these pressure-transient events. Targeted remedial action plans were implemented.
The result
In the municipality of Heuvelland, the InflowSense™ ‘Edge’ devices detected a regularly recurring event: a pressure drop of 20-30 mH2O over short periods of time. This gave rise to severe pressure transients that propagated through the network with a magnitude of up to 130 mH2O.

The highest pressure transient impact was captured at, and initially attributed to, a local tree nursery. However, results from event localisation pointed to an area within 20 metres of a different industrial user, which was identified as the source.

Our Cumulative Pressure Induced Stress metric and hydraulic ‘event’ analysis delivered insights that uncovered the magnitude, frequency and overall impact of the ‘event’, and accurately located the source. Armed with clear and measured information, De Watergroep was then able to implement a targeted remedial action plan to reduce transient impact and achieve greater consistency in the water network.