RPS delivers important research for UKWIR on pressure transients

10 Nov 2022

RPS Water Technical is very pleased to announce the outcome of leading research on pressure transient in clean water networks. Conducted on behalf of UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), this project has a potential to shape change in the UK water industry, particularly within asset management and network operation in the future.

The report can be found online on the UKWIR website.

Understanding pressure transients

In hydraulics, pressure transient is defined as a state between two steady-state conditions. It occurs when there are sudden and frequent changes in pressure over a relatively short period of time.

Over the years, there has been growing evidence that pressure transients have an adverse impact on the network assets, causing degradation and in some cases, failure. Despite a significant increase in monitoring and analysis in this area, there hasn’t been a clear picture of pressure transients’ frequency and severity across the water industry. This research, conducted by the RPS on behalf of UKWIR, sought to investigate the occurrence, characteristics and causes of pressure transients across the water networks. This aimed to enhance our understanding of this phenomenon, so its adverse impact can be managed, and thereby make a positive contribution to leakage reduction and management.

We coordinated this effort along with Inflowmatix, a leading provider of hardware and analysis for pressure transients. We communicated with several UK water utilities, using a combination of surveys, two workshops and several direct meetings, to gather data and information about their programmes of monitoring and analysis of pressure transient. We reviewed and analysed this data to provide a much-needed insight in the state of pressure transient studies across the industry.

Through working with several UK water utilities, we gathered, processed and analysed high-frequency pressure data from several thousands of assets, that had been gathered over several years. Cumulatively, this was equivalent of some 2,149 years of high-speed time series pressure data.

Our analysis suggested that across the whole UK water network, an event occurs once every 1.4 hours, which equates to approximately 6,500 events a year. Each one of these events has the potential to cause failure of the water main either by catastrophic failure or increases in leakage. This research now provides insight to the water industry to raise the profile of pressure transients and take relevant measures. It is a step forward towards understanding the cost and benefit of additional monitoring and investment in the prevention of future occurrences and subsequent impact.

To know more about how we work within the UK water industry, do read about our work in water network operations.



Dr Hossein Rezaei

Technical Manager T: +44 114 272 7301 Email

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