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Project Control of Bacterial Regrowth in Water supply Distribution Systems in Water Short European and Mediterranean Countries

- Three Mediterranean countries subject to Intermittent Water Supplies and two European countries with Continuous Water Supplies are collaborating in this project. The aim of the project has been to identify situations in water distribution systems in each country where bacterial regrowth can be demonstrated, to determine the extent of regrowth whether or not it constitutes a threat to public health, and ultimately to model the water distribution systems in terms of hydraulic, conservative and non- conservative chemical parameters, and bacteria (based on Heterotrophic Plate Counts), and use these models to examine various control scenarios to limit the extent of bacterial regrowth.

Project number IC18-CT-1997-0136
Subject(s) INDUSTRY , ENERGY , no translation available , no translation available
Geographical coverage Palestine, Jordan, Portugal, United Kingdom, Lebanon
Budget (in €) 692600
Programme INCO MED (FP5)
Objectives - Water distribution systems in each country have been selected and the necessary information gathered to model the systems hydraulic, physical and chemical behaviour using the Epanet public domaine package published by EPA. The more sophisticated Performance Q event-driven model developed by our Portuguese partner has been interfaced with Epanet, and Performance Q has been expanded to enable growth, death and detachment to be modelled. The whole has been encapsulated in an MS –Windows based easy to use shell. The Enhanced performance Q model is now in the final stages of testing.

- The data collected by the partner organisations is clearly pointing to the situations which enhance bacterial growth, namely systems in which TOC > 5mg/l (usually surface water sources) with temperatures of 15oC or above, systems with long retention times (long mains, service reservoirs, and household storage tanks in countries with intermittent water supplies), and low (<0.3mg/l) chlorine concentrations. Variable velocity due to fluctuating water demand also has the effect of detaching biofilm from pipe walls, causing sudden increases in suspended bacterial numbers.

- When water pumping starts after a period of no flow in an intermittent supply, poor water quality has been shown to occur due to infiltration of contaminated water and/or detachment of biofilm from the pipes.

- A clear potential health risk has been demonstrated in household water storage tanks, where bacterial increases of up to 5 orders of magnitude may occur in surface derived waters over a seven day period

Results 1. Monitoring distribution networks in each country for hydraulic, chemical and bacterial parameters.

2. Hydraulic calibration and validation of Epanet models for each network.

3. Determination of kinetic coefficients of growth and death of relevant bacteria, plus chlorine decay kinetics in bulk and wall effects.

4. Behaviour of bacteria in household storage tanks.

5. Biofilm measurement of growth and detachment from pipes.

6. Demonstration of infiltration in two intermittent water distribution systems.

7. Epidemiological study on populations using untreated water sources.

8. Formulation and evaluation of Enhanced Performance Q model.

9. Formulation and validation of plug flow model of bacterial growth and death.
Period [01/11/1997 - 30/04/2001]


  • University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    Civil Engineering
    Coordinator acts as project coordinator
    Country United Kingdom (The) - GB
    Contact Mrs Evison Lilian M.,
    Position: General coordinator of the project
    Phone/fax: +1969- 623 424, +1969-622 483
  • Lebanese American University
    Dept. of Microbiology
    Country Lebanon
    Web site
    Contact Mr. Fuad Hashwa,
    Phone/fax: +961 9 547254 ex. 2340, +961 9 547256
  • An-Najah University
    Country Palestine
    Web site
    Contact Mr Anan Jayyousi,
    Phone/fax: +972 92383124, +972 92387982
  • Water Authority of Jordan
    Laboratories & Quality Department
    Country Jordan
    Contact Mr. Nawal Sunna ,
    Phone/fax: +962 6 5866588, +962 6 5825275