Upwards of 80 % of the capital cost of water and wastewater infrastructure is tied up in pipe networks. Similarly, a significant proportion of operating cost derives from the operation and control of these networks. Even so, many water utilities still only have a rudimentary understanding of how their networks really behave and evolve as they grow and undergo repairs.
Gathering operations, planning and maintenance data, along with GIS information system attributes and other data, into one single tool such as Orbi INSIGHT—a model that simulates or parallels as close as possible the behaviour of actual operating conditions of the networks—can allow asset managers to make the right decisions at the right time.
The advent of cheaper, faster and more precise system sensors and monitors with online data access allow even more focused operation, and even prediction of wet weather or transient events to ensure the supply resilience and cost optimization.
Hydraulic and hydrological modelling are essential tools for investigating how networks operate, for planning and designing improvements to water infrastructure systems and for predicting water cycle processes.
Well-constructed and calibrated hydraulic and hydrological models can clearly demonstrate the consequences of fluctuating and increased water demands, pipe flows and pressures in water and wastewater systems; the impact of climate change on the distribution and quality of water resources, above and below land surfaces, and on infrastructure by forecasting water pressures and flows, deficiencies and risk; and lay bare the effectiveness of proposed solutions. Both hydraulic and hydrological analyses create opportunities for improved operational performance and cost savings.
Network and pipeline hydraulics
WSP services encompass pressurized piping and networks as well as gravity-flow channels and sewers. Our specialists have investigated pipeline breaks and re-engineered systems conveying water, sewage, acid/caustic, slurries, sand paste, hydrocarbons and steam. We have also investigated and resolved odour and/or surcharge in combined sewers, drop shafts and tunnel/outfall systems to reduce basement and surface flooding. Services range from raw water transmission lines and risk evaluation and valve criticality to pump, valve and piping design and testing including steady and transient Hydraulic Grade Line (HGL).
WSP provides advanced studies including Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and designs for hydraulic structures including storm inlets, drop shafts, combined sewer overflow (CSO) tunnels and outfall structures for storm, sanitary/combined, or industrial or mining systems. Our services encompass storm water, industrial and mining systems, wastewater and CSO, and review and training.
Plant and pump station hydraulics
WSP provides advanced 3D and hydraulic transient solutions for process and flow control challenges in plant and pumping systems for the water, wastewater, mining, hydropower and industrial sectors around the world. We offer a full range of services from conceptual studies to detailed design, commissioning or performance monitoring—for process piping in plants and pump stations and for pipelines conveying water, sewage, acids or slurries. We also specialize in fluid transients, including key staff who helped develop the HAMMER model (water hammer) and are active worldwide, as well as advanced 3D numerical or scale models.
WSP’s water resources and hydraulic specialists are experienced with a variety of flood control and conveyance facilities including levees, coastal defences, dams, canals, pump stations, detention basins and impoundments, and intake, flow diversion and outlet structures. We utilize our in-depth hydrologic and hydraulic engineering knowledge and apply our extensive experience to assist municipalities in safeguarding their communities and preventing loss of life and property.
River systems, engineering and modelling
WSP has worked on the implementation of large-scale, wide-area water system and river management schemes. Our experience includes hydrologic and hydraulic solutions to address the engineering challenges associated with transportation and environmental restoration projects. Specialized technical services include waterway modelling, highway drainage and hydraulic design; bridge hydraulics and scour analysis; scour protection; and floodplain analysis and flood control design. We have also contributed to stream restoration and protection using fluvial geomorphology-based stream restoration and bioengineering techniques.
Throughout the regions, WSP employs various modelling software packages for modelling 1D and 2D flows in rivers and over flood plains. Integrated flood risk assessments are also made where surface water processes and flow in sewage networks are modelled simultaneously. HEC-RAS (US Army Corps of Engineers) is also used for 1D modelling in rivers and culverts.
- Laser scanning and terrain modelling
- Dam breach and flood propagation modelling
- Flooding analysis
- Urban hydraulic modelling
- GIS and production of flood maps
- Analysis of production losses in hydropower rivers
- Erosion/deposition modelling in rivers
- Flood hazard assessments
- Flood mitigation studies
- River hydraulics (1D, 2D and 3D modeling)
- Stream restoration and reservoir bank stabilization
- Dam hazard classification assessments