UBC Undergraduate Research

UBC Emergency Water Supply System Bednar, Ashley; Cui, Caohan (William); Ganbold, Vee; Ge, Yuhang; Lee, Jay; Mann, Amiteshveer; Torres, Rojohn


The objective of this project is to design a water supply system for the University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver campus in the event of a failure of the system that supplies everyday water to the campus area. The proposed design for this project includes an underground storage tank (having a volume of approximately 7.7 ML), an onsite pump station, and a secondary water main supply. The underground storage tank and pump station is to be located under an existing rugby field, Ken Woods Field, that is west of Wesbrook Mall and south of Thunderbird Boulevard. When developing the concept of the underground tank, the team considered the adaptability in usage, utilization of space, visual aesthetics and minimizing environmental impacts. Moreover, in calculating the water demand, the team considered the future populations of UBC Vancouver and residents within an hour’s walking distance, totalling approximately 175,000 people. Additionally, emergency water in case of a fire was also included in the storage tank volume. A pump station was designed to accommodate the flow requirements during emergency situations. The Grundfos online tool was applied when choosing the required pump for achieving the population’s system demand. Likewise, a secondary water main will run under University Boulevard and connect to the existing water main at Blanca Street. This secondary water main will provide another water source connection from the greater Vancouver water district to the UBC campus area. Bentley WaterCAD was utilized to provide modelling results for this project. The proposed design will increase the resiliency of UBC’s water supply in the short and long term and provide an adequate water supply during crisis periods. A structural design was completed for the underground storage tank, which utilized the CSA design standards. The proposed underground tank will be constructed from reinforced concrete and a waterproof membrane will be wrapped around the exterior to reduce infiltration, contamination and leakage issues. Due to the geological profile of the site, a concrete mat foundation overlying a layer of compacted granular fill was considered. One metre of clearance from the top of the tank to the ground level is designed to provide insulation for the stored water to prevent the water from freezing and to help protect the storage tank. The interior dimensions of the tank are 45m (length) x 35m (width) x 5m (height). A combined factored load, including live load and dead load, was used for design purposes. The ceiling slab for the tank was calculated to have a 300mm thickness. Additionally, 350mm thick concrete walls around the perimeter of the tank and 48 reinforced concrete columns (having a diameter of 500mm) were studied to support the ceiling slab and combined factored load. The Mononobe-Okabe Theory was used to ensure that the walls could withstand earthquake scenarios. Strip footings and a mat foundation were utilized in the design to accommodate the weight of the entire structure and combined factored load. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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