Revelstoke proceeds with water modeling project

Posted December 2005

The City of Revelstoke is constructing a water model for the city’s distribution system.

What is a water model?

A water model is a computer representation of the water distribution system.

Why construct a water model?

By using a water model, the city can assess its water system and identify and rectify any potential deficiencies. Valuable information gathered through the water modeling exercise can determine how the distribution system will react to emergencies during high-demand periods. A water model also helps with fire protection planning.

A water model will also contribute to master planning. By using the water model, predictions can be made as to how the distribution system will react to residential, commercial, and industrial development. As well, the draw on the city’s distribution system created by ski hill development can be determined, allowing changes to be made in advance to maintain proper system function.

How are tests conducted?

Data loggers are used to gather information for the water model. The data loggers are attached to specific fire hydrants in a grid pattern. The grid pattern allows static and residual pressures to be collected from several points, which will provide a more accurate representation of how the system reacts to simulated fire-control conditions.

During testing, one hydrant within the grid pattern is opened for three to five minutes and water is discharged through an orifice of known diameter. The discharge pressure is measured and used to find the volume discharged.

During a later stage of testing, data loggers are attached to certain fire hydrants for a week to monitor static pressure fluctuations during everyday conditions. This will provide information to better understand how the system functions normally.

What are the ideal conditions for testing?

During hot summer months, water demand in Revelstoke increases dramatically. Tests for designing the water model must be conducted in these conditions. This allows information to be gathered which will accurately show how the system will react to emergencies in high-demand situations. Testing during periods of low demand would not be accurate because the system’s ability to provide large volumes of water at these times is not a problem.

For more information contact Revelstoke’s Public Works Department at 250-837-2001 or