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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 71
Edited by: G. De Roeck and B.H.V. Topping
Paper I.1

A Computational Model to Simulate Lead Emissions to Drinking Water

N.P. Weatherill, C.R. Hayes, R.J. Sharp and D. Van De Leer

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Wales, Swansea, United Kingdom

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
N.P. Weatherill, C.R. Hayes, R.J. Sharp, D. Van De Leer, "A Computational Model to Simulate Lead Emissions to Drinking Water", in G. De Roeck, B.H.V. Topping, (Editors), "Computational Civil and Structural Engineering", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 1-10, 2000. doi:10.4203/ccp.71.1.1
Lead is a toxic metal which, if absorbed, can lead to serious health problems. The use of lead in pipe networks, and the subsequent lead emissions into drinking water, is now a major concern to the European Union Member States. The recently revised European Union Drinking Water Directive requires Member States to reduce the levels of lead in their drinking water. To achieve this, water can either be chemically treated or the lead pipes can be replaced. The cost of replacing all the lead pipes across Europe has been estimated to be 70 Billion Euros. Without adequate quantification of compliance to the new directive, prioritisation of corrective actions must become speculative and the ability to justify actions and demonstrate their success must be weakened. In this paper, work is described which has focused on the development of a computer model to simulate the emission of lead into drinking water. Central to this work is a model that predicts the transfer of lead into drinking water for a single pipe. To simulate the effects in a zone or city, the single pipe model is integrated into a Monte Carlo sampling model that enables the variations of pipe and lead characteristics across a zone to be included. The model provides a powerful new approach for investigating and prioritising plumbosolvency control options, and substantially overcomes the severe limitations of sampling.

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