Higher water ages are linked with water quality decline as chlorine dissipates, temperatures become more favorable for microbial growth, and metals and organic matter leach from the pipes. Water fixtures with automated purging devices can limit water age in premise plumbing systems, but also increase water use. To develop purging strategies that lower age while also minimizing water use, the stochastic nature of water demands must be considered. In this research, a hydraulic plumbing network model, with stochastic demands at fixtures, was used to compare water age and water use for five purging conditions: purging at regular intervals, "smart" purging (considering the time of last use), purging with different volumes of water, purging at different fixtures, and the purging with different levels of home occupancy. Higher purging frequency and volume resulted in lower water ages, but higher water use. Purging greatly reduced the variability in water ages, avoiding extreme ages entirely. Water age was minimized by scheduling the purging around occupancy behavior, such as before the occupants wake up or return from work. Scheduled purging used more water than smart purging. Purging after 12h of nonuse used only 55% of the additional water required for purging every 12h. Purging after 24h of nonuse at the kitchen tap and shower used only 38% of the additional water required for purging every 24h, while maintaining lower water ages and removing the variability in water ages. While larger purging volumes had a greater impact on water age, there were diminishing returns. Purging has a larger impact on low-occupancy homes because fixtures have less frequent use. Overall, this research provides a methodology to compare purging strategies that minimize both water age and water use. While the numerical results presented here are only valid for the specific layout and usage habits, they provide insights and trends applicable to other cases.

Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call