C&ENVENG 4073 - Water Distribution Systems & Design

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

Water distribution systems analysis. Steady state analysis of pipe networks. Alternative formulations of equations for pipe networks - the flow (Q)-equations, the head (H)-equations, the loop flow correction (LF) equations, the Q+H equations, the Global Gradient Algorithm formulation and numerical solutions based on Newton Raphson solution technique. Convergence criteria for stopping the iterative solution process. Computer solution techniques in Excel and FORTRAN. The Global Gradient Algorithm of Todini and Pilati for solving the pipe network equations in EPANET. Optimisation of pipe networks/design using genetic algorithms. Pumping operations optimisation using genetic algorithms. Consideration of sustainability criteria (economic, environmental, technical, social, temporal) using multi-objective genetic algorithms. Water hammer analysis. Pump transients. Air vessel sizing. Water hammer control methods. Flywheels and one-way surge tanks for water hammer protection. Column separation during water hammer events. Ten guest lectures from Industry Engineers.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code C&ENVENG 4073
    Course Water Distribution Systems & Design
    Coordinating Unit School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Eng
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites C&ENVENG 2071 and C&ENVENG 3079
    Assessment Exam, tutorial, project work, class participation
    Course Staff
    The course coordinator and lecturer for this course is:

    Professor Angus Simpson
    Phone: +61 (08) 8313 5874
    Room: N142, Engineering North Building
    Email: angus.simpson@adelaide.edu.au
    Website: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/directory/angus.simpson

    Office hours are provided below


    Tutors will be available for assistance during the tutorials, computer practical sessions and the design projects.

    Ms Jessica Bohorquez
    Phone: +61 8 8313 1673
    Room: N221, Engineering North Building
    Email: jessica.bohorquez@adelaide.edu.au

    Office Hours 2020 (starting in Week 2) - Room N142 Engineering North (Professor Simpson), by Zoom after 20 March 2020

    To be announced

    Except mid-semester break 2020.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Please note that the course timetable is subject to change, because of public holidays. The final timetable will be confirmed before the beginning of the semester.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course in Water Distribution Systems and Design students will be able to:
    1. Develop competency in the engineering fundamentals of (a) the formulation of the underlying governing equations for behaviour of flows and pressures in piped water distribution systems; (b) optimisation of water distribution systems design and operations (c) multi-objective optimisation of water distribution system design for both life cycle cost and life cycle greenhouse gas minimisation and (d) water hammer control in piped systems using air vessels and other water hammer control devices.
    2. Develop competency in the analysis, design and optimisation of water distribution systems, in particular, in using computer techniques.
    3. Recognise uncertainty and risk (e.g. in the estimation of peak day water demands and pipe roughnesses) and recognising limitations of engineering approaches and systems.
    4. Recognise the need for sustainable systems and principles of sustainable design by taking into account greenhouse gas emission as a result of construction and pumping operations of water distribution systems.
    5. Develop the ability to work and communicate effectively with others in small groups working on assignments and projects in a time-efficient manner – written, oral, listening and time management skills.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lecture notes:

    It is essential that you acquire a copy of the notes for the course. These notes are from a book prepared by Professor Simpson on "Water Distribution Systems Engineering". The lecture notes are available for purchase from the Unified Online Shop https://shop.adelaide.edu.au/konakart/Welcome.action. The exam is online and fully open-book.

    You will be expected to read the notes as this is an important source of material from which you will learn. For most assignment and design questions you will need to read thoroughly the appropriate chapter(s) from the notes.

    MyUni Resources:

    The lectures, tutorials and designs are all critical components of the course. Powerpoint slides for each lecture will be made available. Lecture video recordings will also be made available on MyUni for review. If you miss a lecture it is essential that you review the recording prior to the next lecture.

    Powerpoint slides, assignments and design tasks as well as other reference material and videos will be made available electronically via MyUni.

    Recommended Resources
    Chaudhry: Applied Hydraulic Transients
    Crowe, Elger and Roberson: Engineering Fluid Mechanics. 9th Edition
    Rouse and Ince: History of Hydraulics
    Streeter and Wylie: Fluid Mechanics. SI Version
    Wylie and Streeter: Fluid transients
    Online Learning
    Online resources (MyUni):

    Material such as lecture slides, assignments, the design projects, reference material and papers will be provided on MyUni. Students are expected to regularly check on MyUni for course announcements and utilise the Discussion Board for additional contact.

    Other Resources:

    If required, other relevant resources will be made available in the “Resources” or “Project” sections of the course MyUni site.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course uses a number of different teaching and learning approaches (in a set of integrated learning activities) including:

    · Lectures (usually two or three 1 hour lectures weekly) including Guest Lectures from industry professionals
    · Problem Solving Tutorials (six to eight throughout the semester)
    · Design sessions - computer suites (approximately 13 hours design/computer suite sessions during the semester)
    · Lecture Participation
    · Examinations

    The lectures are supported and reinforced by the additional teaching modes including tutorials and designs (both formal and informal activities).

    This course is aimed to  provide you with the opportunity to achieve the course learning objectives in a supportive and motivating context.

    The centrepiece of the course are the two Design Projects on water distribution systems. You will learn the fundamental principles/underlying theory required to complete these designs.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Please note that University guidelines suggest that the average student should spend 48 hours per week to achieve a Credit.  Consequently, the total workload for this course is 12 hours per week (144 hours in total over 12 weeks) for an average student to achieve a Credit.


    Breakdown of Hours

    Lectures (including 10 Guest lectures from industry) 34


    Tutorials 8 15 23

    Review of previous lecture for Lecture Participation 0

    Design (part 1) (per person hours) 
    Design (part 2) (per person hours) 8 24 32
    Exam Preparation   0 25 25
    Exam 0 3 3
    TOTAL 56 98 154

    Learning Activities Summary
    Learning Activities Summary

    A summary of the learning activities for this course are given below (L = face-to-face lectures; T = tutorials and design sessions)

    A final week by week schedule will be issued closer to the beginning of the semester and will be available on MyUni.

    L       T       Topic

    L1     -        Introduction/Review

    L2     -        Solving the Water Distribution System Equations - Graph theory +  Q formulation +  H formulation

    -        T1     Assign No. W1: Tutorial: Data needs

    L3     -        Solving the Water Distribution System Equations -  LF formulation + Newton solution of Q-equations

    L4     -        Numerical solution of the water distribution system equations for Q-equations + Two Pipe Problem for Q-equations

             T2     Assign No. W2: Tutorial: Equation Formulation

    L5              Solving the water distribution system equations - H and LF formulations

    L6              Solving the water distribution system - The Global Gradient Algorithm + Two Pipe Example H-equations

             T3     Assign No. W2: Tutorial: Equation Formulation

    L7              Solving the water distribution system equations - Two Pipe Problem for H-equations and Two Pipe Problem for LF equations

    L8              Solving the water distribution system equations - the Q+H-equations formulation and the Two Pipe Problem

             T4     Assign. No. W3- Tutorial: Design 1 - Numerical Solution of Pipe Network Equations

    L9              Global Gradient Algorithm method for the two pipe example and Analysis of Efficiency of Solvers

    L10            GGA improvements

             T5     Assign. No. W3- Tutorial: Design 1 - Numerical Solution of Pipe Network Equations

    L11            Pressure regulating valves

    L12            Genetic algorithm optimization of water distribution systems Part #1

             T6     Assign. No. W4 - Tutorial: PRVs

                      Mid-semester break  Week # 1

                      Mid-semester break  Week # 2

    L13            Genetic algorithm optimization of water distribution systems Part #2

    L14            Optimization of pumping using genetic algorithms

             T7     Assign. No. W5 Tutorial: GA by hand

    L15            GA sustainability- Multiobjective optimisation Part #1

    L16            Multiobjective optimisation - Part #2

             T8     Assign. No. W6a- Tutorial: Design 1 - Genetic algorithm design No. 6a

             T9     Assign. No. W6a- Tutorial: Design 1 - Genetic algorithm design No. 6a

    L17            Review of water hammer

    L18            Water hammer Air Vessels Part 1a

             T10   Assign. No. W6a- Tutorial: Design 1 - Genetic algorithm design No. 6a

             T11   Assign. No. W6a- Tutorial: Design 1 - Genetic algorithm design No. 6a

    L19            Water hammer - Air Vessels #1b

    L20            Running Hytran

             T12   Assign. No. W6b- Tutorial: CATS Design 2 - Genetic algorithms versus manual design

             T13   Assign. No. W7- Tutorial: CATS Air vessel Hytran

    L21   -        Water hammer - Air Vessels #2

    L22            Column separation and flywheels

    L23            Review of Course - Exam overview

             T14   Assign. No. W6b- Tutorial: CATS Design 2 - Genetic algorithms versus manual design

             T15   Assign. No. W6b- Tutorial: CATS Design 2 - Genetic algorithms versus manual design

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes
    Tutorials (every one to two weeks) 5 Group Summative Weeks 2-12 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
    Designs (two) 20 Group Summative Week 5 1. 2. 3. 5.
    Exam 70 Individual Summative Week 14 Min 40% 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
    Class participation 5 Individual Summative Wk 1-12 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown is registered as an exemption to the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy. The exemption is related to the Procedures clause(s): 1. a. iii

    Late Submissions will be penalised at 20% per day or part day thereof.
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Expected Course Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. 

    Please note that University guidelines suggest that the average student should spend 48 hours per week to achieve a Credit.

    Consequently, the total workload for this course is 12 hours per week (144 hours in total over 12 weeks) for an average student to achieve a Credit.

    Group Work

    For assessment tasks requiring group work, groups will be partly self selected (for assignments only). Allocation of numbers of students per group will depend on total number of students in the course in a particular year. If there are 4 members per group the following process will be followed. You will pair up with one other person with whom you will work in group work for the entire semester. Pairs will rotate to form a new group of four for each new group work task. All members in a group are expected to contribute equally to the overall task. In cases of perceived unequal contributions to group work, students should come and discuss the matter with the teaching staff. 

    Peer Assessment

    This course includes a peer assessment for the design tasks undertaken within groups.

    Hurdle Requirements

    In order to pass this course, students must obtain at least:
    40% for the exam

    If the above requirements are not met, students will receive a 39 F (fail) for this course OR the weighted mark for the course (whichever is lower mark).

    Please be aware that you may be eligible for an academic supplementary exam if you fail to meet this requirement. If a student sits a supplementary exam on academic grounds, the final mark will be based on that examination only. Failure to demonstrate a necessary level of knowledge and understanding of the course material in the supplementary exam will result in a fail grade.

    Assessment Detail

    A. Designs

    Objectives: The objective of the Designs is to provide students with the opportunity to apply the course material in a realistic context in order to achieve higher-order learning outcomes. 
    There will 3 components to the design including Design 1 (a) numerical methods for solving pipe network equations Design 2 (a) manual trial-and error design of a water distribution system using computer simulation and (b) genetic algorithm optimisation of a water distribution system using a computer software program called “Optimizer ” developed by an Adelaide company called Optimatics Pty Ltd.

    B. Assignments

    Objectives: The objective of the Assignments is to provide students with the opportunity to apply the course material to problems. 
    There will be a number of assignments - while working individually or in groups of four (sometimes 3 or 4 if necessary).

    C. Examination

    Objectives: The objective of an Exam is to provide an independent test of whether students have gained an understanding of the key learning objectives.  Details of which course learning objectives are addressed by the Exam are given above.
    A 3 hour examination will be held at the end of Semester I. It will be a restricted open book exam.

    ·       Notes provided by Prof Simpson for the course may be brought into the examination. This is explicitly restricted to the textbook by
    Crowe and Prof Simpson's book and Powerpoints of material not in Prof. Simpson's book.

    ·       NO OTHER BOOKS OR MATERIAL may be brought into the examination. Information relating to Fluid Properties will be permitted.

    ·       The design, tutorial solutions and worked problems including solutions to old examination problems, may NOT BE brought into the examination. A check of the material brought in by each student will be made at the beginning of the examination.

    ·       Use of dictionaries is permitted.

    .       The use of calculators is permitted. Ensuring the calculator batteries are sufficient for the duration of the examination is the responsibility of the student. 

    Supplementary exams awarded on academic grounds will only be given in extraordinary circumstances.
    If a student sits for a supplementary exam on academic grounds, the final mark will be based on the examination only.

    Submission deadlines will be given on each assignment and on the lecture and tutorial schedule.

    Details about the submission process for the Homework Exercises will be given at the beginning of the semester and details of the submission process for the Designs will be given in separate handouts.


    All submissions should be accompanied by a signed assessment cover sheet - available at:


    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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