• Improving Leak Detection in Water Distribution Networks through Hydraulic Modeling and Pressure Management

      Ryan, Robert; Miller, William C.; Sharifi, Youness (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)
      Approximately six billion gallons of drinking water are lost through distribution systems every day across the United States. In Philadelphia alone, an estimated 22 million gallons per day (MGD) of water is unaccounted for. This constitutes 25% of drinking water produced each day. Water is lost through distribution networks due to various reasons, such as erroneous meter readings, inaccurate billing, and physical damage to the infrastructure. According to the Philadelphia Water Department's Water Audit, water losses in the year 2010 amounted to over $30 million. Not only does "unaccounted-for water" cost the city of Philadelphia millions of dollars every year, it could also be affecting the quality of our drinking water; undetected leaks could potentially allow pathogens to enter the pipes and contaminate the network's water. This risk is magnified in periods of high flow demands such as during fire emergencies. Currently, the City utilizes many methods for detecting and repairing leaks including acoustic leak detection methods. However, these methods are not fast and not very effective in large diameter pipes. This thesis proposes a method for leak detection that utilizes hydraulic modeling and pressure management in the water distribution network to find the source of leaks as quickly and efficiently as possible causing less water to be wasted. Millions of dollars worth of wasted water could be saved while protecting the quality of our water from contamination.