UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Experimental Investigations and CFD Modeling of Contaminant Intrusion in a Water Network during Transient Events Mahmoud, Mohammed; Farahat, Ashraf; Hamouda, Mohamed A.; Al-Zahrani, Muhammad; Sharif, Muhammad Nadeem; Sadiq, Rehan


Intrusion in drinking water networks (DWN) can be triggered by transient low-pressure events. This intrusion may result in the contamination of drinking water supplied to consumers, which may have major health impacts. This research aims to investigate the influence of a DWN’s operating parameters on the intrusion and progression of the contaminant in a pilot drinking water network setup. Results show that the minimum time required for the contaminant to begin entering the system was influenced by the system operating pressure. Faster initial intrusion times were observed under low operating pressure. In addition, the crack size influenced the time required for the contaminant to fully intrude the system. Similarly, the time required for the contaminant to reach certain points in the DWN was influenced by the operating pressure. These results were verified using two additional tools; a high-speed camera was used to monitor the contaminant transient progression through the DWN under different pressures; and computational fluid dynamics modeling was used to calculate the corresponding contaminant concentration. The results suggest that the ability of the system to quickly stabilize its operating pressure would reduce the probability of a contaminant intrusion into the DWN.

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