Contaminant Intrusion in Water Distribution Systems

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University of British Columbia - Okanagan

Project Description:

Contaminant intrusion is one of the most important mechanisms for water quality failure in water distribution systems. This project determined the volume inflow rate of contaminants into water distribution systems. It also researched the impact of soil properties on the contaminant intrusion rates. The research objectives was accomplished in three steps. 1) Subsurface Module: We developed a two-dimensional finite element model to determine the flow conditions in a saturated porous media around a pipe by employing the Forchheimer-extended Darcy’s law. 2) Design of Experiment Module: The intrusion rate depends on many factors. In this module, we investigated the effective factors, the degree of their significance, and the possible combination of them that may have impacts on the volume rate of the intruded contaminant. This module also determined a set of dimensionless parameters among the effective parameters. However, the functionality was determined by performing a set of numerical simulations each for a specific value of a dimensionless parameter. 3) Optimization Module: Using the generated numerical data-set and applying an optimization process, the functionality discussed in step 3 was determined.  The findings from the study help to inform source-to-tap assessments of a water distribution system. The results of the study were submitted for publication and can be accessed here: ContaminantIntrusionResults

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