Column Separation in Pumped Pipelines

by Douglas T. Sovern,
Greg J. Poole,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Pipeline Design and Installation


Pressure transients are common occurrences in water supply systems. Pipeline standards and design/testing techniques will normally provide sufficient protection for transmission and distribution systems. However, in pumped systems, `downsurges' or rapid pressure drops can cause column separation in pipelines, can result in severe damage to piping, and may be unrecognized in many water supply systems. Column separation in water supply systems usually results from power supply or equipment failure. In these instances, control devices such as pump control valves and pressure release valves can be totally ineffective. Computer modeling can be used to determine the need for prevention of column separation and to size appurtenances such as one-way surge tanks and surge suppression tanks that can prevent column separation from occurring.

Subject Headings: Columns | Pumps | Pipelines | Hydro power | Power outage | Water pressure | Valves | Water storage

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