Jan 25, 2007

National Academies Press Ships Groundbreaking Water Distribution Risk Management Textbook

The National Academies Press of Washington D.C. has released Drinking Water Distribution Systems: Assessing and Reducing Risks — a new resource for anyone involved in drinking water distribution management. The volume was written by the National Research Council’s Committee on Public Water Supply Distribution Systems: Assessing and Reducing Risks, a select group of industry experts.

“This is definitely a must-have reference,” said Paul F. Boulos, president and chief operating officer of MWH Soft, a leading global provider of environmental and water resources applications software. “Extensively researched, expertly written, and highly comprehensive, it covers all important aspects of both distribution system deficiencies and regulatory requirements in incredible detail. The book is filled with sound practical guidance designed to empower water professionals with the state-of-the-art knowledge they need to better protect and sustain our hydraulic infrastructure, improve its integrity and reliability, and safeguard public health. It will change the way infrastructure improvements are planned to achieve water quality goals.”

Protecting and maintaining water distributions systems is crucial to ensuring high-quality drinking water. Distribution systems — consisting of pipes, pumps, valves, storage tanks, reservoirs, meters, fittings, and other hydraulic accessories designed to carry drinking water from a centralized treatment plant or wells to consumers’ taps — possess a complex and poorly understood ecology.

Spanning almost one million miles in the United States, these systems represent the vast majority of physical infrastructure for water supplies, and constitute the primary management challenge facing water utilities from both an operational and a public health standpoint. Recent data on waterborne disease outbreaks suggest that distribution systems are a source of contamination that has yet to be fully addressed.

This comprehensive 404-page book evaluates approaches for risk characterization, presents recent data, and identifies a variety of viable strategies that could be considered to reduce the risks posed by water quality-deteriorating events in water distribution systems. Particular attention is given to backflow events via cross connections, the potential for system contamination during construction and repair activities, maintenance of storage facilities, and the role of premise plumbing in public health risk.

The book features examinations of distribution system vulnerabilities; explores the most current knowledge and technologies; and identifies advances in detection, monitoring and network modeling, analytical methods, and research and development opportunities that will aid the water supply industry in further reducing risks associated with drinking water distribution systems.

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