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InfoWorks WS helps with planning for complex Trento water system

Trentino Servizi, the multi-utility giant providing water services to the city of Trento in the north of Italy, is using InfoWorks WS to help it to manage and plan key projects to improve its complex supply network.

Trento is the utility's largest municipality, with around 110,000 inhabitants. Trentino Servizi is currently building models for both the city and nearby Rovereto, which has 40,000 residents.
"The reason for the purchase was that the utility wanted to deal with its very complex network," explains Matteo Frisinghelli, the Trentino Servizi water engineer responsible for its technical water services. The complexity is mainly due to the city's topography - Trento sits in a river valley within the foothills of the Alps, and although most of the city is on the river plain, some parts of the conurbation have developed on the slopes above and there is a 400m difference in elevation between the lowest and highest points.
Most of the city's water is abstracted from 20 boreholes in the river gravels, and 21 springs, but there are significant high-level springs in the upland areas around Rovereto that could also be used as water sources.
Because of its challenging topography Trento has 40 service reservoirs and 65 pumping stations that ensure water pressure is maintained at an optimum level, though the purity of the water is such that it does not require treatment.

Modeling the system
The utility was doubtful that any modeling solution could cope with the complexity of its Trento network, but Matteo Frisinghelli notes: "It ended up with an extremely good model, which was confirmed by comparison with monitored data. It is clear that the model is extremely reliable."
So far, the utility's modeller, Roberto Condotti, has produced over 500 calibration graphs and model calibration has just been completed. The utility is now moving straight into a design phase, as it has a number of projects that urgently require input from the model.
One key project is the construction of a 500mm diameter, 25km long pipeline that will connect Rovereto and Trento. This €5 million conduit and intermediate booster station will be able to pump water to either conurbation - the scheme is mainly intended to provide flexibility of water sourcing and a means to supply water even in emergency conditions. Additionally tapping into the abundant high level springs above Rovereto will allow the utility to reduce its energy bills.
Because the pipeline can carry a large amount of water (up to 150 litres/sec), it is extremely important for the utility to ensure that the existing Trento mains network will not be compromised in any way by its addition. There are obvious potential impacts on both flow and pressure that need to be evaluated.
"The utility needs to evaluate how the system will change, especially given its complexities," Mr Frisinghelli explains. "It needs some analysis, and because of the possibility of running the pipeline in the other direction it is necessary to examine the effects - it is a very expensive scheme and the utility needs to ensure its success."
It will take two to three months to complete the connections within the complicated representation of the network, for instance setting the on/off rules for the pumps, and the model will then be ready for use.

Future plans
Trentino Servizi also intends to use the model for planning purposes - for instance to assess the effects of proposed developments on the network's performance.
There is also a plan for a new major motorway junction within Trento - at the moment there are junctions in the centre and north of the town, and the intention is to add a further junction in the south. This will mean the city has a need for good water pressure to the site for firefighting purposes.
"Until now these sorts of planning permissions have been dealt with in a very complicated way, without really understanding them," Mr Frisinghelli notes. "Now they will be able to deal with them using the model for fire analysis."
There are also plans to upgrade the spur system that supplies the Monte Bondone ski resort, high in the Alps above Trento. The resort needs an adequate supply year-round, so the model will be used to ensure the project is optimally designed.

For further information please email Wallingford Software

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