Arrow rightCalibrating Your Hydraulic Model with FlowMSP

Calibrating a hydraulic model presents a unique challenge for municipalities. A potentially overwhelming task, given the variables at play. However, using the FlowMSP Water app makes collecting and saving data from the field easy.

Hydraulic Modeling

As a model must accurately represent the performance of a water system, that model almost always requires calibration to be deemed valid. Validation, in turn, requires field data to be collected and compared to the current model. However, the process of collecting that data may provide inaccurate results, if personnel go into the field without the right tools.

Enter the FlowMSP Water app. Not only is the app capable of water asset management, but it also allows fire and water personnel to perform accurate two hydrant tests. That test data can then be matched against the current hydraulic model, and used for calibration.

Two Hydrant Tests

Within the app, while performing a test, hydrant capacity is calculated using Bernoulli’s Formula, whereas main capacity is calculated using the Hazen-Williams formula. Once field personnel have recorded static pressure, residual pressure, the friction coefficient, and hydrant outlet size, they will be given two resultant GPMs for hydrant and main capacity.

Along with hydrant and main capacity, the information entered for the calculations will also be saved within the app under the maintenance history for the test hydrant. This will allow anyone to review the collected data at any time in the future.

Beyond understanding the behavior of your water system, however, what are the benefits of validating your hydraulic model?

ISO Evaluations

ISO evaluations require a fire department to demonstrate the performance of water distribution in their areas of coverage. If a department lacks this ability, that will reduce a department’s total score for water supply.

According to the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, “the results of a properly balanced and tested hydraulic water system model at a representative test location [in lieu of a standard flow test] will indicate the ability of mains to carry water to that location” (Insurance Services Office, 2012).

This means a fire department can influence a significant portion of the Credit for Water Supply by using the hydraulic model, even if the city is unable to conduct standard flow tests. By controlling the factors under your influence, you can prepare for the ISO evaluation and positively impact your PPC rating.
(Reference: Insurance Services Office, Inc. (2012). Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.)

Most hydraulic models do not adequately agree with field data when they are first developed or upgraded. The model must be calibrated by identifying why the agreement isn’t better and making the proper adjustments to achieve agreement.

Thomas Walski – Procedure for Hydraulic Model Calibration
(2017 © American Water Works Association)

The FlowMSP Water app is a cost-effective tool for understanding and validating the behavior of your local water system. Where some solutions are costly and overcomplicated, many easy-to-use features are bundled into one app that can be shared with your team, at no additional per-device cost.

Try the FlowMSP Water app today, and know for certain the information you collect is accurate.

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