American Society of Civil Engineers

Experimental Verification of Incomplete Solute Mixing in a Pressurized Pipe Network with Multiple Cross Junctions

by Inhong Song, (corresponding author), (Senior Researcher, Research Institute for Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National Univ., Seoul 151-921, Korea E-mail:, Pedro Romero-Gomez, (Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.), and Christopher Y. Choi, (Professor, Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.)

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 135, No. 11, November 2009, pp. 1005-1011, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: Water quality models based on accurate mixing data at cross junctions are important for estimating concentrations of chemical species in municipal water distribution systems. Recent studies indicate that the instantaneous complete (thus "perfect") mixing assumption potentially can result in an erroneous prediction of water quality. The present study examines the updated "incomplete" solute mixing model at cross junctions in a network having multiple cross junctions. The model performance in predicting solute transport was evaluated through a series of tracer experiments in a pressurized 5 x 5 network with 9 cross junctions. The perfect mixing model consistently overestimated solute dilution at cross junctions and predicted evenly distributed solute concentration throughout the network. In contrast, the incomplete mixing model demonstrated uneven distribution patterns with a distinct solute plume, and the corresponding results were significantly more accurate than those based on the perfect mixing assumption. Average prediction errors in tracer concentrations were 15 and 66% using the updated and perfect mixing models, respectively, and the difference was statistically significant (P-value <0.001). Therefore, this study concludes that the incomplete mixing model can drastically improve the prediction of solute transport in pressurized pipe systems that have multiple cross junctions.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Water quality
Pressure pipes
Water pipelines
Water distribution systems