Hydraulic modeling – applications in the field of water loss

March 19-20, 2020



Eng. Mihail TODOROV
Experience – Water company from Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria); engineer in hydraulic modeling.

Currently – Grundfos engineer (Sofia).

We thank you for accepting our invitation and please give us some answers for those who will attend the workshop.



1.Please tell us a few words about yourself.


I am Mihail Todorov from Pernik, Bulgaria. I graduate from UACEG Sofia, with masters in Water supply and Sewerage  in 2010. After I spent almost 5 years in Water company of Blagoevgrad as water engineer. I work also as an application engineer in Bentley system’s distributor in Bulgaria and East Africa. I have an experience in the construction works on site, designing, hydraulic modelling and data collection and processing. For the moment I am working in Grundfos Bulgaria as external sales engineer.


2.How did you get to work in this field? What experience do you have in hydraulic modelling? What projects did you have?


I started working with hydraulic modelling as a water engineer in Water company of Blagoevgrad, but it was just a scratch of the surface. After joining Bentley system’s distributor it was my job to train and present hydraulic modelling application to the water engineers. This position gave even deeper understanding of the hydraulic modelling with a lot of different projects and problems. I did several hydraulic models for Water companies in Bulgaria and East Africa.



  1. What is hydraulic modeling? Who is it for and who needs it? How do water companies help? If you are a beginner, how long do you need to learn to work in a hydraulic modeling program?


Hydraulic modelling can be presented as a digital twin for the water and sewerage network. It best suits water companies across the world and water designers as well. It helps because you can use it to play different scenarios for the future, can estimates new DMAs, it helps with the pipe renewal plans, leakage detection, pump optimization and pure water network design. Regarding the sewerage network hydraulic modelling helps mostly in pumping design and rain water run off calculations. For a beginner most of the hydraulic modelling applications has quite good inbuild learning path which can be used for self-learning tool, but the best way to learn it to do different projects and try to solve real problems.



  1. How can you identify water losses by applying hydraulic modeling?


It is just a mathematical and statistical way of identification. First you need to create the model and calibrate it. The calibration is maybe the most important step from the process – you need to collect huge amount of data for the physical system, for pumps and PRVs operational information and data from flowmeters and pressure sensors. Once calibrated the model should be updated quite often – but depends mostly of how dynamic is the local pipe network. After that you can use the real data from flowmeters, pressure sensors, pipe diameters and materials, customer meter data if available in GIS to compare it with the hydraulic model. This difference between the two models helps the program calculates where are you having water losses to give you the current pressure and flow in the network.


  1. What data do you need to make a hydraulic model? How do you get to this data? What if you don’t have all the necessary data?


In perfect world you will have GIS data from the local water company for all physical parameters of the pipe network. Also you will have established DMAs with accurate flow and pressure measurements. In reality this is almost as a science fiction. On some places is hard even to understand what is the real pipe diameter. Some water companies has just schemes on hard copy.

If you don’t have all the data you should be better start collecting it.

Good way for checking the pipe diameters is to collect data from current pipe leakages, repairs, new customer meters connections etc. Even with small amount of data you can create a model. The more information you place in, the more accurate will your model be.


  1. What is the difference between hydraulic modeling programs? Does Bentley know how to do extra or better?


As almost all of the hydraulic modelling programs are on Epanet’s base there is not big of a difference in the general way of work and computing. Bentley acquisition of HAESTAD before more than 15 years was not just a commercial deal. The team behind the applications stayed and it had a huge boost in research and constant optimization of it.


  1. What topics will you address at the seminar? What are you going to teach us? Who is it for?


I will try to explain how to create a decent model with minimum information, how to use it to optimize pipe breaks and leakages using the application tools. The use of the model as a digital twin can help operators to play with certain parameters and to check pressure change in the simulation before starting real installation. Quite often decisions looked good in the design can be bad for the network after their implementation. The seminar will be useful for water company’s engineers, water designers and anyone interested in modelling and optimization.


  1. Do you know Romania and how the water networks are presented?


This is going to be my third time in Romania related to hydraulic modelling. I can say that I have decent understanding of the water networks but there is always something new to learn and as far as I understood each water company has different challenges to solve.




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