Water Quality Modeling of Chilliwack’s Water Distribution System in Preparation of the Emergency Chlorination Test.

Glen MacPherson, Werner de Schaetzen and Spencer Cripps


This paper describes the use of a water distribution model of Chilliwack’s water distribution system to validate the use of an emergency standby chlorination system to effectively disinfect the entire system in the event of a water contamination. Chilliwack’s water supply is currently non-disinfected.

The City’s water supply and distribution system supplies a population of 76,000 from seven groundwater wells without using any form of water treatment or any addition of chemical constituent. On August 27, 2007 an emergency chlorination test was conducted for a two week period by injecting chlorine to the distribution system. The objective of this chlorination test was to determine if sufficient chlorine residual could be observed throughout the whole distribution system.

The first step was to build the water quality model with the kinetic reaction parameters. Based on the model predictions from two demand scenarios (Average Day Demand and Maximum Day Demand), a set of 49 sampling locations was proposed prior to the test to ensure that chlorine is properly propagated in the entire system. The field measurements collected during the chlorination test show that 68 % of the sampling locations received the chlorinated water within 24 hours, 90 % of the sampling locations received the chlorinated water within two days, and 100 % were covered in four days.

The model predictions were fairly accurate as the simulation results showed that between 56 % and 75 % of all the junction nodes will receive the chlorinated water within one day, and 95 % of all junction nodes are covered in four days.

This study demonstrated that a complex water quality network model can be used as a practical tool for the planning of sampling design to meet water quality requirements.

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