Quantification of Water Flow Testing Adjustments for Sprinkler System Design

When a water flow test is taken to determine the available flow and pressure of the community's water supply for sprinkler system design, that data is used to define the system for the remainder of its useful life. If that test is not taken at a conservative time in regards to water usage and water distribution operations, the system has the potential to be under designed. Water usage varies with the time of day, as well as the time of year. In addition, over time the water availability to an area can change due to a multitude of reasons, including but not limited to development. Currently no method is specified to adjust for this time centric variable, and as a result tests are being conducted without consideration of an adjusting factor regardless of the actual water usage and demand during the completion of said tests. Task Groups from NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, and NFPA 24, Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and their Appurtenances, have reviewed proposals directed to both the discharge and underground water supply committees to provide further details on adjustments to water flow test data; however, these proposals were held due to a belief of insufficient data needed to address this issue.

Research goal: The purpose of this project is to clarify the varying demands on a typical water supply system and determine available methods to quantify an adjustment to water flow tests based on both the time of day and the time of year at which the test was conducted, while also identifying the numerous other variables affecting the testing of water flow.

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