Pressure Management MasterClass


Echologics Water Loss and Pressure

Management Concepts Masterclass

April 2016, Llandudno

The last 20 years have seen significant developments in practical concepts for predicting the many benefits of pressure management in distribution systems. However, it is not easy for practitioners entering this specialist field to follow the sequence of developments, to identify current best practice, and to understand why some earlier concepts and approaches have been superseded.

At the request of Echologics (a Mueller Technologies Company) a MasterClass in these topics was organised in Llandudno, North Wales by Allan Lambert of ILMSS Ltd in early April 2016.  The Echologics team was led by Alain Lalonde P.Eng, who has over 22 years experience of NRW management in Canada, USA and elsewhere; Alain was accompanied by engineers Marcin Kloc, Jay Shah (P.Eng) and Stefan Verschure, who are experienced in advanced pipeline condition assessment techniques and watermain leak detection.

Day 1 discussion centred on recent advances in pressure management, with an introduction from Allan Lambert on pressure:bursts predictions and asset life extension. Barry Griffiths (webmaster) outlined management of the rapidly growing free content of the LEAKSSuite website. Professor Kobus van Zyl and PhD student Rene Nsanzubuhoro described University of Cape Town experiences over several years of developing and testing academically robust approaches to pressure:leak flow rate relationships. Practical contributions from experienced international pressure management specialists Marco Fantozzi and Mark Shepherd included Jo-Apps for field calculations on mobile platforms. Alain Lalonde also provided insight on non-invasive pipeline condition assessment technology and the permanent leak detection monitoring platforms from Echologics.  The cross-fertilisation of practical, technical and academic perspectives identified several promising options for ongoing collaboration, areas of practical research, improved standardised terminology relating to differentiating between the FAVAD (2-component) and N1 approximation, and providing more user-friendly software.

On days 2 to 3, the Echologics and University of Cape Town delegates were joined by Welsh Water’s Ciaran Lynch (Lead Analyst) and Tim Locke (Leakage Inspector) for two days of detailed presentations on Assessing your Losses, Real Loss Management Concepts, Pressure Management and approaches to assessment of Economic Leakage Levels, with and without pressure management. The course dinner was held at the oldest coaching Inn in North Wales, in the Conway valley just outside Llandudno, and the company and food was enjoyed by all.

On Day 4, Allan Lambert discussed with the Echologics Group how the latest and upcoming best practice approaches might be incorporated into their current practices, and on Day 5 Allan discussed, with Kobus and Rene, improved closer joint approaches to modelling pressure:leak flow relationships, with ‘FAVAD’ being used to describe the 2-component formula, and ‘N1’ being reserved for approaches based on practical approximations over appropriate pressure ranges.

On days 4 and 5, time was found for the Echologics and University of Cape Town delegates to briefly visit the cottage, near Llandudno, where Dr Wolfram Hirner and Allan drafted the first IWA Water Balance and Performance Indicators around 20 years ago. The Cape Town delegates also enjoyed a half day Post Conference tour through the mountain passes of the Snowdonia National Park.

Participants feedback:

I first met Allan in 1994 as a young fresh engineer starting in the field of water loss management and quickly realized Allan’s ability to meld theoretical concepts on leakage management with real world practical approaches.  His tools and concepts on assessing losses and managing night flows & pressure management remain the best of class.  Our team really enjoyed and appreciated Allan’s efforts and training.  This was my 4th training session with Allan since 1994 and, as usual, I learnt many new things – proving that an old dog can be taught new tricks!  A big thank you to Allan for the training and for taking us out to the “Box Cottage” which is the birthplace of the current IWA water balance and performance indicators almost 20 years ago!Alain Lalonde, P.Eng. – Director of Business Development (NRW), Echologics.

Thanks for a wonderful and highly valuable master class. Professor Kobus van Zyl, University of Cape Town.

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