What does a water distribution network look like? Well, working with the Blackstairs Group Water Scheme is giving us a better idea. As part of the Dwr Uisce project, the Trinity College team are collaborating with a number of communities that are part of the National Federation of Group Water Schemes (NFGWS). The Blackstairs water network is a gravity fed system supplied by a main reservoir located at the east face of the Blackstairs Mountain in Co. Wexford.
This group water scheme provides treated drinking water to over 1,000 homes, with an average demand of 1,5000 m3/day (the group use the equivalent quantity of water to fill an Olympic size swimming pool in less than two days). The water is distributed through an impressive network 117 kilometres in length.
Members of the team visit the scheme earlier this week to meet with some of the NFGWS members and to see the scheme, in particular its pressure reducing valves (PRVs) in the network. The Dwr Uisce project are interested in collaborating with the NFGWS, as with the case of the Blackstairs scheme, PRVs regular pressure in their networks, and there are opportunities for energy recovery through hydropower at some of these locations.
Currently the Dublin team of the Dwr Uisce project are undertaking ten initial GWS feasibility reports to determine if and how energy recovery through hydropower could be achieved in these schemes.
Watch this space!