Hydraulics model

To optimize the pumping operations of a water distribution system, a detailed model is required. The model must be able to accurately simulate flow rate and pressure in a large piping network under a variety of different conditions. After the hydraulics model is available, an optimization program will be used to determine the best pumping scheme for various scenarios.

Many different simulations will be tested on this virtual water distribution network to determine if pumping optimization software is able to significantly reduce emissions and/or energy use. We aim to answer this and many other important questions for water utilities and policy makers.


The detailed model of a water distribution system that is needed before performing optimization can be built using the EPA's drinking water software, EPANET. The project team has completed EPANET models for the City of Monroe and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD).

We will use these EPANET models to test various scenarios using the optimization program we created (PEPSO).

Monroe and Detroit are good pilot-project water systems: Monroe is small and easy to start with, Detroit is huge and has many different pumping schemes that could be conceived.


In order to mathematically optimize a real water distribution system for energy or emissions, there must be a model in place that describes the system in great detail. This model includes a map of the piping network, location of pumps, power and efficiency curve of pumps, daily demand curves for flow of water, pressure at many points in the system, diameter and length of pipes, and other important details. Such a model can be built using EPANET, a public-domain software package designed for water distribution modeling that was developed by the U.S. EPA. EPANET performs extended-period simulation of the hydraulic and water quality behavior within pressurized pipe networks.

(Click on the link or the screenshot to go to: http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/wswrd/dw/epanet.html)


Map of Monroe Water Distribution System, and EPANet Model of the system: (click images to enlarge)









Close-up of Monroe EPANet model pumping station:

Map of DWSD, and EPANet Model of the system: (click images to enlarge)