Document details

Fouling of a drinking water system in relation to hydraulic circumstances and customer complaints

Author(s): Poças, Ana Isabel de Figueiredo Alves dos Reis

Date: 2008

Persistent ID:

Origin: Repositório Institucional da UNL

Subject(s): Engenharia do ambiente; Engenharia Sanitária; Água - Abastecimento; Água - Redes de abastecimento; Água - Qualidade - Gestão; Comportamento do consumidor


In a “perfect” drinking water system, the water quality for the consumers should be the same as the quality of the water leaving the treatment plant. However, some variability along the system can lead to a decrease in water quality (such as discolouration) which is usually reflected in the number of the customer complaints. This change may be related to the amount of sediment in the distribution network, leading to an increase in turbidity at the water supply. Since there is no such thing as a perfect drinking water system, the behaviour of particles in a drinking water network needs a suitable approach in order to understand how it works. Moreover, the combination of measurements, such as turbidity patterns and the Resuspension Potential Method (RPM) aid in the prevention of discoloured water complaints and intervention in the treatment upgrade or the network cleaning. Besides sediments there is also bacterial regrowth in the network, which is related to the water quality and distribution network characteristics. In a theoretical drinking water system higher velocities, temperature and shorter residences times lead to wider bacterial growth. In this study we observe velocity and residence steady-states and bacterial does not seem to be related to either. It can be concluded that adequate measurements of RPM, customer complaints and bacterial concentrations allow a wider knowledge on particle behaviour in drinking water systems.

Document Type Master thesis
Language English
Advisor(s) Amaral, Leonor; Vreeburg, Ir. Jan
Contributor(s) Poças, Ana Isabel de Figueiredo Alves dos Reis
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