Main content area

Topological clustering for water distribution systems analysis

Perelman, Lina, Ostfeld, Avi
Environmental modelling & software 2011 v.26 no.7 pp. 969-972
algorithms, computer software, computers, databases, environmental models, pipelines, pipes, public water supply, pumps, simulation models, systems analysis, tanks, topology, uncertainty, water distribution
Municipal water distribution systems may consist of thousands to tens of thousands of hydraulic components such as pipelines, valves, tanks, hydrants, and pumping units. With the capabilities of today’s computers and database management software, “all pipe” hydraulic simulation models can be easily constructed. However, the uncertainty and complexity of water distribution systems interrelationships makes it difficult to predict its performances under various conditions such as failure scenarios, detection of sources of contamination intrusions, sensor placement locations, etc. A possible way to cope with these difficulties is to gain insight in to the system behavior by simplifying its operation through topological/connectivity analysis. In this study a tool of this kind based on graph theory is developed and demonstrated. The algorithm divides the system into clusters according to the flow directions in pipes. The resulted clustering is generic and can be utilized for different purposes such as water security enhancements by sensor placements at clusters, or efficient isolation of a contaminant intrusion. The methodology is demonstrated on a benchmark water distribution system from the research literature.