Useful UK-Dutch exchanges in the first 6 months of WatQual

First set of researchers have been visiting across borders

Within the WatQual project, researchers from universities visit industry in another country and vice versa to study water quality related issues in the drinking water distribution system (DWDS) across Europe. Since the start of the project several researchers have paid a visit to KWR and the University of Sheffield. Their individual goals and results all differ but are contributing to a greater understanding of water quality and how it is influenced by water company practices. Here is a peek into what is happening.

Dutch data in a UK model

Maria Xenochristou from University of Exeter (U.K.) was the first visitor to KWR. She stayed for two weeks in April, and will return in the fall. As part of her PhD Maria is developing a model that connects seasonal variations to changes in water demand. She has successfully applied her UK model to a Dutch dataset, viz. the measurements of Evides in 9 streets (ca. 150 homes) with various characteristics of household size, household composition and size of gardens. She has put the results in a paper which she will present at WDSA/CCWI 2018. She mainly worked with Ina Vertommen and Mirjam Blokker, and she presented her results to the water infrastructure team at KWR.

Semi-self-cleaning looped networks

David Ayala Cabrera from Irstea in Bordeaux (FR) visited KWR for 7 weeks in April-May 2018. David works on the ResiWater project and his focus is resilience of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS). Together with Edo Abraham of TU Delft and Mirjam Blokker, David has been looking at the resilience of DWDS in various configurations such as conventional looped networks, networks that were made semi-self-cleaning by closing some valves and true self-cleaning networks. David is finishing a paper on this topic now and has been collaborating with Ina Vertommen and Peter van Thienen about the possibilities to incorporate the resilience index into Gondwana. Within the BTO Verkennend Onderzoek (link ) we will investigate this further (project Veerkrachtige Leidingnetten / Resilient Distribution Networks). David presented his work to the water infrastructure team at KWR. Other visitors from Irstea will follow later in 2018.

Sample lance

Peter Schaap from PWN (NL) is the first visitor to the University of Sheffield. He is visiting for two months in May-June 2018. Peter has been using a tool developed at PWN, a measure lance to sample at different depths within a pipe, in the University of Sheffield 600 m drinking water pipe test rig to better understand how particles behave under various water quality conditions. He has presented on Dutch practices, including the method to prioritize flushing areas with the help of the Resuspension Potential Method and registration of discolouration complaints, to the UK water utilities participating in research at the University of Sheffield as part of the Prediction of Discolouration in Distribution Systems (PODDS) project. Also, Peter has been visiting individual water companies and interviewing them about their flushing practices and discoloration complaints, with a goal of compiling survey data to better understand how practices vary across water utilities. Peter has mainly been working with Stewart Husband and Vanessa Speight but has interacted with the wider Sheffield Water Centre.

The ultimate goal of his work is to understand what water quality characteristics (e.g. sizes of particulate matter or specific density) are important to include in the discolouration prediction tool that KWR is developing within the BTO.

Ongoing research

The next visitor to the University of Sheffield was Mirjam Blokker from KWR. She is visiting for two weeks in June 2018, and a further two weeks in the fall of 2018. She is discussing ongoing research in the UK and the Netherlands, as there are many parallels. Examples are:  i) a research project on the size of the crater that is produced by a large main break, ii) using the SIMDEUM approach in research on grey water use, iii) research on robots on DWDS, and iv) studying biofilm under various circumstances (temperature, nutrients, chlorine) in the DWDS.  She will also visit the new Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research (ICAIR) Centre at the University of Sheffield that the TKI project Warmteoverdracht drinkwaterleidingen will use to measure some of the heat transfer from hot water pipes to drinking water. Mirjam is presenting to the Water Distribution Research Group meeting.

Test facility being build for buried pipes in a 30 x 6 x 5 meter concrete tank for the TKI warmteoverdracht drinkwaterleidingen project.
Test facility being build for buried pipes in a 30 x 6 x 5 meter concrete tank for the TKI warmteoverdracht drinkwaterleidingen project.