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Purdue University

Analysis and Design of Water Distribution Systems

Purdue University via edX


Water distribution networks are crucial for supplying water for residential areas, hospitals, educational institutions, industrial zones, commercial areas, and for firefighting purposes.

In this course, we will:

Review fluid properties, and fundamental hydraulics principles leading to continuity equation, energy and momentum equations. Review energy grade lines, and hydraulic grade lines.

  • Quantify flows through pipes and learn to design simple water distribution networks. Topics such as major and minor energy loss computations in pipe networks, and role of reservoirs, tanks, pumps, etc. in network design will be covered. MS Excel and pipe-network analysis software such as EPANET will be used to analyze pipe networks of varying complexities. Learning assessments will enable students to perform steady-state as well as extended period analyses of water distribution networks.
  • Select combinations of pumps to meet design needs of flow demands and pressures in water distribution networks during regular, peak, and fire demands. Develop system curves, obtain operating points for pumps, account for cavitation in pumps, analyze single pumps, multiple pumps in series and parallel, and design and select pumps. A project will provide hands-on experience in the design and selection of pumps for water distribution network.


  • Week 1: Introduction, review of continuity, momentum and energy equations
  • Week 2: Friction and minor loss expressions, flow through single pipes, pipes in series and parallel
  • Week 3: Pipes networks
  • Week 4: Pump definitions, system and pump curves, operating points, and affinity laws
  • Week 5: Pump design and selection, pump systems

Taught by

Rao Govindaraju


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