UDF Program for Providence Water
Providence Water selected Weston & Sampson to provide engineering services related to the development and implementation of a unidirectional flushing (UDF) program. The contract was awarded in 2012 and is a four year contract. Weston & Sampson has been working closely with Providence Water in creating custom flushing sequences to develop a system-wide UDF program. Implementation of flushing sequences has helped lower iron and turbidity levels system wide.
We are preparing flushing sequences for over 800 total miles of water main that are separated into individual flushing zones. For each flushing zone, sequences are developed that show specific mains to be flushed, valves to be operated, and the hydrant to be opened. Expected field data and custom warnings are calculated to help mitigate the scouring of tuberculation in unlined cast iron mains for each sequence. Deliverables for each flushing zone are highlighted by the flushing sequences, GIS-based key maps, and valve operation and maintenance lists.
Implementation of the UDF program included assistance with organizing union forces, development of standard operating procedures for flushing practices, development of customized Apple iPad (iDataCollect) forms, and field training. The iDataCollect forms were developed to both record and report flushing progress electronically, skipping manual entry steps to save labor costs and improve data accuracy. The flushing crews use an Apple iPad to access the forms through the iDataCollect application, and upload the data to the iCloud at the end of each shift.
Through three years of the UDF program, Providence Water continues to lower iron and turbidity levels, while increasing the chlorine residual and improving the water quality throughout the distribution system.