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Master planning is essential for water utilities in the development of a prioritized Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which addresses existing and long-term system needs. Kurtz Engineering (KE) has extensive experience in master planning for systems of varying size and complexity. The following tasks are part of the master planning effort:

  • Forecasting customer and demand projections
  • Assessing the adequacy of existing sources of supply and treatment facilities for meeting the projected demand and the current and proposed primary and secondary drinking water quality regulations
  • Evaluating the distribution system using computerized hydraulic modeling
  • Determining the adequacy of the storage, pumping, and transmission facilities
  • Evaluating fire flow adequacy in relation to the Insurance Services Office (ISO) and water company fire flow guidelines
  • Developing a CIP to address the existing and future deficiencies, to meet regulations, to supply future growth and to enable more efficient system operation

Our portfolio includes examples of our work in master planning.

In addition to developing complete master plans, KE performs more focused studies that may be a part of a larger master planning study or a separate stand-alone study, including customer and demand projects, supply studies, and distribution studies.

Customer and Demand Projections

KE develops customer and demand projections to meet the water company’s needs, generally as part of a master plan or supply or distribution study. Customer growth and demand projections are based on historic trends, population projections, and information gained from local and regional planning agencies, water company personnel, and large customer interviews. The average and maximum day projections can be allocated to the hydraulic model for development of the target year model scenarios

Supply Studies

KE evaluates the sources of supply, reviewing the condition of the existing supply facilities, the regional hydrogeology, raw water quality data, capacities, supply allocations, and historic yield trends. The firm performs alternatives analysis to determine the most cost-effective supply improvement program to meet the client’s goals.

Distribution Studies

Specific distribution system studies are performed, which may be part of a master planning effort or a stand-alone study with identified issues. Examples include:

  • Determining the location and capacity for a new storage facility
  • Evaluating a new or modified pump station and developing system curves for the selection of new pumps
  • Evaluating alternatives for serving a new growth area or large user in the system
  • Determining the necessary improvements for increasing available fire flows
  • Performing analysis to deliver large flows to wholesale customers
  • Evaluating improvement alternatives for identified deficiencies, such as low-pressure areas or high velocity pipelines

To enable proactive decision-making and improved asset management of water infrastructure, Kurtz Engineering (KE) performs distribution system modeling for a number of applications. KE can perform the initial model construction/update and calibration, which may include the following tasks:

  • Constructing or updating the piping network with automated or digitized pipe and nodal layout from GIS, AutoCAD, or other sources
  • Entering and/or updating facility data to include reservoirs, tanks, pumps, valves, and so on with an appropriate level of detail and minor losses at the facility stations. Facility data also includes related pump head curves, tank stage-volume ratios, and so on
  • Automated input of nodal elevation data using digital elevation maps or other sources
  • Demand allocation using geocoded customer usage data or meter route usage data, including the assignment of the largest users to their individual nodes
  • Model calibration using SCADA records and hydrant and C-factor tests for both steady state and extended period simulations
  • Developing a model documentation report and data binder, which includes the necessary discussion and data for understanding the model development and calibration process

Our portfolio includes examples of our work in distribution system modeling.

KE often develops distribution system models for master planning and distribution study applications, which may include the following tasks:

  • Developing target year model scenarios for master planning
  • Performing distribution pipe network analysis to identify high-velocity and head loss pipelines and areas of low or high pressures
  • Performing pumping and storage analyses, evaluating pump operations and efficiencies, and evaluating storage water levels and effective use of storage volume
  • Performing system wide and specific fire flow analyses
  • Evaluating potential operational improvements
  • Performing pump energy studies
  • Performing improvements and alternatives analysis by running various model scenarios of potential project improvements

Increasingly, distribution system models have been used to perform water quality and water age analysis. KE has developed numerous models for performing water age analysis to meet the EPA requirements for Initial Distribution System Evaluations (IDSE). The information from the IDSE water age models is used for selecting sites for performing disinfection by-products water sampling in order to meet the requirements of the final Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (Stage 2 DBPR) and the Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2ESWTR).

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