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  • 1.  Water Pipeline Design

    Posted 10-16-2018 08:02 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 10-17-2018 02:16 PM
    Good day,
    My name is Kelvin Marumba, a final year Civil and Water Engineering student. For my final year project I want to design a piped water conveyance system in Zimbabwe to cater for the water problems in the capital. By road, the distance from where the water will be drawn to the destination is approximately 370km. My specific objectives are:

    1) Come up with an optimum route including elevations.  
    2) Carry out the designs for the pipeline including the pump stations.  
    3) Coming up with a cost estimate of the project in real time.

    All this said, I am seeking your help in coming up with a methodology for my project and also ideas to make it more interesting (including software I can use and even pressure management techniques to reduce water losses). 

    Thank you

    Kelvin Marumba S.M.ASCE

  • 2.  RE: Water Pipeline Design

    Posted 10-18-2018 01:39 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 10-18-2018 01:39 PM

    Congratulations on your selection for a project.
    Every water supply engineer in the world would love to be involved in such a design.
    • Drive the route you propose with recorder and camera. This will provide interesting exhibits for your paper, and will help you immensely with your proposed design.
    • Google Earth has a very good elevation profile drawing ability.
    • Work closely with your school advisor.
    • Speak with the engineering director of the water department.
    • Avoid too much detail at this time. Point out what needs to be designed rather than designing in detail.
    • What is the quality of your proposed water source compared to the existing source.
    • What is the quantity that will be needed in 100 years. (This will be a very high cost project worthy of such a projection). 
    • Someone, sometime is going to have to address, "What are the alternatives available to Harare for a reliable long term water supply?" It might as well be you.

    Robert Walker P.E.
    Wellington FL

  • 3.  RE: Water Pipeline Design

    Posted 10-19-2018 11:22 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 10-19-2018 11:21 AM
    Excellent Project Selection. Robert has great ideas. I would like to add a couple of other thoughts for evaluation in your project:
    • Evaluate materials of construction to select type of pipe.  It should be readily available and used in the area.  It should also be a material that can be easily repaired by local contractors familiar with the materials.
    • Consider how the water will be conveyed through the pipeline.  Can it go by gravity, or does it need to be pumped?  If you believe it has to be pumped, can you adjust the design so it will flow by gravity, saving labor and costs.
    • Once you narrow down the route, look at the impacts and benefits.  Will there be other communities along the way that may need the water also, and how will that be accommodated?
    • Consider funding sources, including World Bank, to make it affordable for the people you are trying to help.
    I am sure you will do a great job, and who knows, you may be put in charge of getting it constructed.
    Best of luck,

    Mario Ricozzi P.E., F.ASCE
    Manager of Design
    Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority
    New Haven CT
    (203) 466-5280 EXT 346

  • 4.  RE: Water Pipeline Design

    Posted 10-22-2018 12:19 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 10-22-2018 12:19 PM
    Hi Kelvin,

    I agree that Google Earth is a good place to start. A couple of other thoughts came to mind:

    --370km seems like a long way to run a pipeline, is there a closer water source available? From looking at the map, I assume you're looking to pull water from Lake Kariba but there's also Lake Chivero and Lake Manyame. Would one of those work?
    --Another consideration is how large of an area you're serving and how much water is needed there. Is a single pipeline sufficient?
    --I would agree that gravity flow would be easier/cheaper than pumping water along 370km of pipeline.

    As for how to present the project, I do most of my calculations and estimating in Excel. With the right formulas to link costs to quantities, you should be able to update the estimate automatically as you make changes to the project calculations and pull reports from that data. You can also use GIS to create maps of the routes you're considering, show the preferred route, and explain why you chose it.

    Good luck, I'd be curious to see what you come up with!

    James Talley P.E., M.ASCE
    Highway Engineer
    Sterling VA

  • 5.  RE: Water Pipeline Design

    Posted 10-23-2018 08:07 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 10-23-2018 08:07 AM
    Zimbabwe certainly has the possibility of seismic events.  Such an important water line should have elements of resilience built in.  Check local fault line positions carefully and plan valve locations, planned weak points, and staged repair materials accordingly.

    James H. Anspach, PG, Dist.M.ASCE
    Senior Global Principal
    Cardno, Inc.