Controlled test environment for premise plumbing research


For water companies, the drinking water installation in homes is a blind spot because they do not supervise after the delivery point (the water meter). The distribution network they manage themselves is already largely hidden from view, but the drinking water installation in homes is still much more unknown. The flow dynamics in a drinking water installation differ significantly from those in distribution pipes. For example, there are many more periods of downtime, which can substantially affect drinking water quality. Because drinking water quality is assessed at the kitchen tap, i.e. after going through part of the drinking water installation, a better understanding of the drinking water installation is needed to ensure that water from the tap meets quality requirements.

HomeWaterLab: a one-to-one replica of a domestic drinking water system

To shed more light on drinking water installations in homes, KWR has built the HomeWaterLab test installation. This installation mimics a drinking water installation in a residence on a one-to-one scale. The HomeWaterLab thus provides a way to investigate phenomena in drinking water installations without bothering customers. This compact setup benefits from a link to SIMDEUM, allowing realistic consumption patterns to be assigned to taps. This unique test installation offers opportunities to conduct experiments under manageable conditions and simulate diverse realistic and extreme consumption situations.

Possibilities in the HomeWaterLab

The HomeWaterLab pilot plant offers opportunities for several applications.

  • Drinking water quality advice: Developments in laws and regulations (tightened standards, societal transitions) and in the environment (contaminants, climate) pose a challenge to drinking water quality at the tap. Studies in a controlled environment will help form a clearer action perspective on current issues.
  • Technological innovations: By testing products and/or measurement techniques (softeners, digital water meters, pressure measurements, temperature sensors) in a controlled, realistic test environment, practical knowledge can be gained before they reach the market. Moreover, organising demonstrations at the testing facility to stimulate fruitful discussions with potential end consumers is possible.
  • Research: The HomeWaterLab is, of course, also available for scientific research relevant to the drinking water or installation sector (water consumption, degradation of water quality, influence of management measures).

Getting started with the HomeWaterLab

KWR is happy to work with interested parties to answer their pressing questions with the HomeWaterLab. More technical information about the setup is available in the HomeWaterLab technical characteristics document, the link of which can be found below.

HomeWaterLab offers easy access to a realistic premise plumbing facility.