Measures to combat the unwanted heating of water in the pipe network

Legally the water temperature at the tap may not exceed 25°C. The temperature of the water network changes because of the weather and aboveground and underground heat sources. In this study KWR is going to determine where the greatest risk of elevated temperatures arises between source and tap. In this project we are focusing in particular on the practical measures that may reduce the chance of elevated temperatures.

In this study we will determine where the greatest risk of elevated temperatures arises between source and tap and what measures we can take to limit these risks. In hot summers temperatures at the tap above 25°C are recorded incidentally. This is expected to happen more often as a result of climate change, urbanisation and the energy transition.

Analysing risks

To analyse the risks we will be looking at the temperature of the water and the temperature of the biofilm on the pipe wall. This means that risks may differ locally and that any measures will be location-specific. The main focus therefore will be on local higher temperatures, in other words, hotspots.

The factors affecting the chance of a high temperature are already well known, but the locations that contribute most to the risk have not yet been properly analysed.  Are they the relatively long, large-diameter connecting pipes? Or the distribution pipes that lie close to a number of underground heat sources? Or is the entire pipe network in the built environment and residential centres a problem with the 2050 climate scenario?

Risk reduction measures

Once we know what the biggest risk locations are, we can formulate measures to resolve the current risks or prevent future risks. In this research project we are aiming to quantify the risk, determine the properties of the risk locations, identify the risk locations and identify measures to reduce the risks.