Including leakage in network models: an application to calibrate leak valves in EPANET

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EPANET is one of the most widely used software packages for water network hydraulic modelling, and is especially interesting for educational and research purposes because it is in the public domain. However, EPANET simulations are demand-driven, and the program does not include a specific functionality to model water leakage, which is pressure-driven. Consequently, users are required to deal with this drawback by themselves. As a general solution for this problem, this paper presents a methodology for including leakage in EPANET models by following a two-stage process. Firstly, leakage is spatially distributed among the nodes, according to the characteristics of the network. Secondly, leakage is modelled through an emitter at each node. The process is described in detail and two numerical examples illustrate the applicability and advantages of the method. In addition, free access through a URL is provided to the leakage modelling tool that has been developed.

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