PODDS V Project Summary 2015. The PODDS V research project has been hugely successful in bringing together multiple aspects of research. Increased scientific knowledge from nationwide and laboratory studies has resulted in cost effective and efficient operational strategies that improve asset performance in water distribution systems with regards to safeguarding water quality. The work and subsequent impact has been recognised academically, by water practitioners internationally and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI). This has only been possible with the active participation of project members helping organise trials that consistently demonstrate the hydraulically manageable and predictable discolouration behaviour whilst facilitating identification of governing processes.

DWI Presentation, June 2015. The DWI invited the PODDS group to London to present our research. It was commented by the organisers that 29 (out of 40+ staff including clerical) was best turnout to date for this type of dissemination event

REF 2014 The Research Excellence Framework (guide). REF is the new system for assessing UK Universities' research. PODDS was submitted as an Impact Case Study and subsequently showcased (1 of only 5 from 514 case studies) as an excellent example of contributions by engineering research to the better provision of public services in a report prepared by Technopolis with the EPSRC, Royal Academy of Engineering and overseen by Professor John Fisher CBE FREng; "Assessing the economic returns of engineering research and postgraduate training in the UK".

PODDS VI Proposal (July 2015). This aims to extend the work started in previous highly successful PODDS consortia projects but with improved specified data gathering for parallel bespoke computing modelling analysis to enable evidencing the causes of discolouration whilst justifiying tactical and strategic operations within the regulatory framework. PODDS VI - Initial proposal (March 2015) can be found here.

NTU Equivalence - set of plots that demonstrate how turbidity correlates with iron and manganese based on PODDS trials over

PODDS Flow Cytometry protocol. A protocol has been written (by Kat Fish and Stewart Husband) that uses sodium ascorbate for dechlorinating. Sodium ascorbate has been selected as it is basically Vitamin C so is safer to handle, store etc, AWWA approved and not an oxygen scavenger like sodium thiosulphate

PODDS Conference abstracts - accepted abstracts for the IWA Biofilms Conference 2015 in Arosa, Switzerland and CCWI 2015 Conference in Leicester.

PODDS GUIDING PRINCIPLES - based on over a decade of industry leading international research. Includes key iinnovative priorities for developing efficient, cost-effective pro-active discolouration management strategies and a flowsheet methodology for identifying and prioritising trunk main conditioning.

‘To chlorinate, or not to chlorinate?’ Pathogen Proposal 2015 - This proposal seeks to challenge the current practices of maintaining disinfection residual in drinking water distribution systems, by for the first time studying and modelling the impact of disinfection residual strategies on the sheltering, proliferation, release and subsequent exposure to pathogens from within the systems.

PIPE DREAMS Presentation and Agenda 3rd July 2014. Distribution systems are not inert transport systems. They should be considered as high surface area physical, chemical and biological reactors. They are also highly variable, highly uncertain, ageing and deteriorating. The central premise of Pipe Dreams is that the layers that form at the pipe and water interface of this extremely complex, endemic, essential infrastructure are the missing link between water quality and infrastructure.
This final year event presented results of research that sought to address the need to understand this interface, such that we can supply safe water for public health, and make the best sustainable use of existing infrastructure. The day will involve presenting results and achievements, as well as propose some ideas for the future, with opportunities for discussion, feedback and interaction across industry and academia.

PODDS Welsh Water Proposal (April 2014) With the ongoing success of the PODDS project, Welsh Water have asked to become members. Here can be found the "Discolouration proposal to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water from the Pennine Water Group at the University of Sheffield"

PODDS V Proposal (April 2013) 'Microbial Viability and Discolouration in Trunk Mains - a proposed 2 year consortium funded research project building on the PODDS research and innovations'.

PODDS Turbidity Monitoring Equipment (March 2013) reports on the turbidity moniting formats of field kit used by the PODDS team.

Click on the filmstrip below to take you to folder containing the "Particles, Cohesive Layers and Discolouration Risk" video clip. The PODDS presentation from the WatNet Conference, Cranfield September 2013 can also be found here.




DCWW Abergele November 2014 - This report presents data from an initial PODDS flow conditioning trial on the 5 km 8” mixed uPVC and AC trunk main feeding Abergele service reservoir. The trial was conducted following two independent hydraulic incidents that had occurred on this main during 2014 that demonstrated a discolouration risk to customers and a follow-up DWI investigation. An updated report including findings and modelling validation from a second trial in January 2015 is also attached.

NWG Elford 6" AC flow conditioning trial and investigative study

STW 21" Cast Iron Satnall Report (March 2014) including PODDS predictive modelling, 3 x trial analysis (2 six monthly repeats) and recommended operational guidelines

STW 21" Cast Iron Satnall Trial Report (January 2013) including PODDS predictive modelling from January 2012.

Turbidity versus Iron - Is 1 NTU a sensible flushing target for PODDS style operational trials?

PODDS Epanet model parameters can be seen here.

PODDS Epanet Model and PODDS Epanet Manual (2009) available here.




Inaugral meeting 16th October 2013, University of Sheffield: agenda, presentation, minutes

Second Steering Meeting 15th January 2014, University of Sheffield: agenda, presentation, minutes. As an 'expert' group, do we need regulatory clarification on what is 'clean'? To assist the University of Sheffield's 'Discolouration' REF submission plus guidance notes are attached. Updates from Will Furnass (pipe rig mobilisation results and modelling) and Isabel Douterelo (microbial anlysis of field based pipe coupons) are included in the presentation. Martin Jackson also gave a presentation on how PODDS parameters may be determined directly from hydraulic values.

Third Steering Meeting 9th April 2014, University of Sheffield: agenda, presentation, minutes.

Fourth Steering Meeting 9th July 2014, University of Sheffield: agenda, presentation, minutes.

Fifth Steering Meeting 13th October 2014, University of Sheffield: agenda, presentation, minutes. The meeting involved interactive PODDS modelling and live turbidity data downloaded from the latest NephNets. In addition to the PODDS work, additional presentations from Iftekhar Sunny on his Phd with Scotiish Water and Kat Fish with laboratory and chlorine associated research with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water. During the meeting Isabel Douterelo presented initial results from coupon studies with Wessex Water (slides not available online).

Sixth Steering Meeting, 13th January 2015, University of Sheffield, agenda, presentation, minutes.

Seventh Steering Meeting, 14th April 2015, University of Sheffield, agenda, presentation, minutes

Eighth Steering Meeting, 7th July 2015, University of Sheffield, agenda, presentation, minutes

Ninth Steering Meeting, 29th September 2015, University of Sheffield, agenda, presentation, minutes




Discolouration Risk Analysis Tool - opens a folder with the latest version, Epanet.exe file, Epanet.dll file and 2 example Epanet files. These can be downloaded and saved as appropriate. Instructions for use can be found in the User Manual.

Discolouration Risk Analysis Tool - User Manual; - methodology, operation and validation document








S. Husband, M. Jackson & J. Boxall (2015) 'Identifying Material Accumulation Processes in Drinking Water Distribution Systems with Extended Period Epanet MSX Turbidity Simulations' Procedia Engineering Vol 119 pp 398-406 doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2015.08.901

S. Husband, J. Boxall (2015) 'Predictive water quality modelling and resilience flow conditioning to manage discolouration risk in operational trunk mains' IWA Publishing Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology-AQUA 64.5, pp529-542 doi: 10.2166/aqua.2014.042

S. Husband, I. Douterelo, K. Fish, J. Boxall (2015) 'Biofilms and Discolouration Material Accumulation Processes in Drinking Water Distribution Systems and Modelling the Hydraulic Mobilisation' IWA Specialized Conference Biofilms in drinking water systems Arosa, Switzerland August 2015

S. Husband, M. Jackson & J. Boxall (2015) 'Identifying Material Accumulation Processes in Drinking Water Distribution Systems with Extended Period Epanet MSX Turbidity Simulations' 13th Computer Control for Water Industry Conference, CCWI, Leicester, UK September 2015

D.M. Cook, P.S. Husband& J.B. Boxall (2015) 'Operational management of trunk main discolouration risk' Urban Water Journal DOI: 10.1080/1573062X.2014.993994

Fish, K., Collins, R., Green, N., Sharpe, R. L., Osbourn, A. & Boxall, J. (2015). Characterisation of the Physical Composition and Microbial Community Structure of Biofilms within a Model Full-Scale Drinking Water Distribution System. PLOS ONE, 10.

Douterelo, I., Boxall, J., Dienes, P., Sekar, R., Fish, K. & Biggs, C. (2014). Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems. Water Research, 65, 134-156.

Douterelo, I., Sharpe, R. L. & Boxall, J. (2014). Bacterial community dynamics during the early stages of biofilm formation in a chlorinated experimental drinking water distribution system: implications for drinking water discolouration. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 117, 286-301.

S.R. Mounce, P.S. Husband, W.R. Furnass, J.B. Boxall (2014) 'Multivariate data mining for estimating the rate of discolouration material accumulation in drinking water systems' 16th Conference on Water Distribution System Analysis, WDSA 2014, Bari, Italy (Conference presentation can be found here)

I.Douterelo, S. Husband, J.Boxall (2014) 'The bacteriological composition of biomass recovered by flushing an operational drinking water distribution system' Water Research Volume 54, 1 May 2014, Pages 100-114, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2014.01.049

Furnass, W. R., Collins, R. P., Husband, P. S., Sharpe, R. L., Mounce, S. R. and Boxall, J. B. (2014)
Modelling both the continual erosion and regeneration of discolouration material in drinking water distribution systems. IWA Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, Vol 14 (1), pp. 81-90.

S.Husband, J.Mistry, J.Boxall (2013) 'Modelling and flow conditioning to manage discolouration in trunk mains' 12th International Conference on Computing and Control for the Water Industry, CCWI2013, Perugia Italy 2-5th September 2013

I.Douterelo, R.L. Sharpe, J.Boxall (2013) 'Influence of hydraulic regimes on bacterial community structure and composition in an experimental drinking water distribution system' Water Research Volume 47, Issue 2, 1 February 2013, Pages 503–516, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2012.09.053

W. R. Furnass , R. P. Collins, P. S. Husband, R. L. Sharpe, S. R. Mounce and J. B. Boxall (2012) 'Modelling both the continual erosion and regeneration of discolouration material in drinking water distribution systems' IWA New Developments in IT & Water Conference, Amsterdam 4-6 November 2012

Husband,S., Boxall,J.B., (2012) 'Misleading Velocity Analysis for Water Quality Management in Transmission Mains ' EWRI 2012, Albuquerque 20/24th May

Husband,S., Xin, Y., Boxall,J.B., (2012) 'Long Term Asset Condition and Discolouration Modelling in Water Distribution Systems with Epanet MSX' EWRI 2012, Albuquerque 20/24th May

Husband, S., Jackson, M., Boxall, J. (2011) 'Trunk Main Discolouration Trials and Strategic Planning', Computing and Control for the Water Industry (CCWI) 2011, Exeter 5/7th September

Husband,S (2010) 'Discolouration in Water Distribution Systems; Understanding, Modelling and Practical Applications' Doctoral Thesis, The University of Sheffield

Husband,S., Boxall,J.B., (2011) 'Asset Deterioration and discolouration in water distribution systems' Water Research 45, 113-124 doi:10.1016/j.watres2010.08.021,

Husband,S., Williams, R., Boxall,J.B., (2010) 'Risk Managed Trunk Main Operation' Water Distribution System Analysis 2010, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 12-15 September.

Sharpe, R., Smith, C.J, Biggs, C.A. and J. B. Boxall (2010). Pilot scale laboratory investigations into the impact of steady state conditioning flow on potable water discolouration. Water Distribution System Analysis 2010, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 12-15 September.

Dienes, P., Sekar, R., Husband, S., Boxall, J.B., Osborn, A. M. and Biggs, C.A., (2010) ‘A new coupon design for simultaneous analysis of in situ microbial biofilm formation and community structure in drinking water distribution systems’ Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 87:749-756 DOI 10.1007/s00253-010-2510-x

Husband,S., Whitehead, J., Boxall,J.B., (2010) 'The Role of Trunk Mains in Discolouration' Journal of Water Management, ICE, DOI: 10.1680/wama.900063

Husband,S., Boxall,J.B., (2010) 'Field Studies of Discolouration in Water Distribution Systems: Model Verification and Practical Implications' Journal of Environmental Engineering 136(1): 86-94 DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000115

Seth, A., Husband,S., J., Boxall,J.B., (2009) 'Rivelin Trunk Main Flow Test' Proc. 10th International Conference on Computing and Control for the Water Industry, CCWI, 1 - 3 September, Sheffield, UK

Husband,S., Whitehead, J., Boxall,J.B., (2009) 'Long Term Trunk Main Monitoring Yields Operational Dividends' 3rd Biennial Conference of the UK Network on Potable Water Treatment & Supply, Buxton, 1,2 June 2009

Husband,S., Boxall, J.B., Saul, A.J. (2008) 'Laboratory Studies Investigating the Processes Leading to Discolouration in Water Distribution Networks' Water Research 42(16): 4309-4318

Husband, P. S. and J. B. Boxall (2008). 'Water Distribution System Asset Deterioration and Impact on Water Quality - a case study' ASCE World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, May 13-16, Ahupua'a, Hawaii, USA

Vreeburg, J. H. G. and J. B. Boxall (2007). 'Discolouration in potable water distribution systems: A review.' Water Research 41: 519-529.

Husband,S., Boxall,J.B., (2007) ‘Repeat DMA Flushing Operations: discolouration comparison, modelling and management’ Proc. EPSRC Develpments in Water Treatment & Supply, 4-5 July 2007, Bath, UK

Boxall,J.B. and Prince, R.A., (2006) ‘Modelling Discolouration in a Melbourne (Australia) Potable Water Distribution System’. Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology - AQUA, IWA. 55.3, 207-219

Husband,S., Boxall,J.B., (2005) ‘Material Accumulation and Mobilisation in a Pipe Loop System’. Proc. EPSRC Develpments in Water Treatment & Supply, 5 - 6 July 2005, York, UK

Boxall,J.B., Dewis, N. (2005) 'Identification of discolouration risk through simplified modelling' Proc. ASCE, EWRI, World Water and Environmental Resources Congress, May 15-19, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Boxall,J.B., and Saul, A.J. (2005) ‘Modelling Discolouration in Potable Water Distribution Systems’ Journal Environmental Engineering ASCE. Vol 131, No. 5, 716-725.

Boxall,J.B., Saul, A.J. and Skipworth, P.J. (2004) ‘Modelling for Hydraulic Capacity’ Journal of the American Water Works Association. Vol. 96, No. 4, pp. 161-169.

Boxall,J.B., Skipworth, P.J. and Saul, A.J. (2003)
‘Aggressive flushing for discolouration event mitigation in water distribution networks’ Water Science and Technology - Water Supply Vol. 3; Part 1/2 pp. 179- 186.


Boxall,J.B., Unwin, D.M., Husband, P.S., Saul, A.J., Dewis, N. and Gunstead, J.D. (2003) 'Water quality in distribution systems: rehabilitation and maintenance strategies’ Proc. International CCWI conference, Advances in Water Supply Management, 15 - 17 September 2003, Imperial College London, UK.

Boxall,J.B., Saul, A.J., Gunstead, J.D. and Dewis, N. (2003) ‘Regeneration of discolouration in distribution systems’ Proc. ASCE, EWRI, World Water and Environmental Resources Conference, 23-26 June 2003, Philadelphia, USA.

Seth,A., Bachmann, R.T., Boxall, J.B., Saul, A.J. and Edyvean, R. (2003) ‘Characterisation of Materials Causing Discolouration in Potable Water Systems’ Water Science and Technology, Vol 49, No 2, 27-32

Boxall,J.B., Skipworth, P.J. and Saul, A.J. (2001) 'A Novel Approach to Modelling Sediment Movement in Distribution Mains Based on Particle Characteristics'. Water Software Systems: v. 1: Theory and Applications (Water Engineering & Management). B. Ulanicki, B. Coulbeck and J. P. Rance, Research Studies Press, Hertfordshire, UK. 1: 263-273.





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