Water Distribution



The reliable, clean and safe distribution of drinking water to homes and businesses is the obvious first priority of any water supplier. However, leakage and overflow can cost water companies much more than the water lost from the distribution system.

How water is distributed depends on topography and local regulation, and often a mix of gravity pipes and pressure pipes systems are used for the best results. Grundfos can supply pumps and controls for the entire water distribution system, including main and local pumping stations, ensuring reliable management of pressure zones throughout the pipes network.

Grundfos helps reduce costs and limit water loss in a water distribution system by effective pressure control. This is done by compensating for surplus pressure in the pipes system and by reducing water hammer which causes new holes.

Grundfos Demand Driven Distribution is a multi-pump solution operating at proportional pressure, where the system is designed to supply precisely the flow needed at the pressure required, with a number of pumps running at best efficiency point, instead of one big pump. The Grundfos Control MPC provides proportional pressure control, gradual ramp-up and ramp-down, the cascade operation of up to six pumps, and monitoring and control with clear text messages. The Grundfos Control MPC works with all pump types, offering substantial economic benefits from energy savings and reduced leakage losses.

The sustainability of water distribution systems from a source over time requires that the pumping solution is durable, ensuring cost effective and trouble-free operation. Grundfos has decades of experience developing controller and monitoring systems for pumping solutions and manufactures its own pump motors for all fluid types and flow requirements. This ensures a perfect match with hydraulics, motors, electrics, and all other mechanical components that make up a comprehensive pumping solution, ensuring the best possible efficiency point. 

The high-efficiency motors developed by Grundfos, with or without an integrated or external variable frequency drive, meet and in some cases exceed the requirements set by motor-efficiency legislation around the world. Considering that on average 85% of a normal pump system's Life Cycle Cost (LCC) is energy costs, switching to high-efficiency motor technology can mean a LCC reduction of up to 50% and a reduction in environmental impact.

Control and monitoring systems increase the potential for improving both efficiency and reliability. Grundfos supplies external variable speed drives (Grundfos CUE), Dedicated Controls and internet-based supervision (Grundfos Remote Management) that are fully integrated into a pumping system. Dedicated Controls enable easy controlling of pump functionalities with an easy-to-use SCADA interface. Grundfos monitoring and control systems include plug-and-play communication interfaces that communicate with 95% of the communication standards available on the market.

Grundfos solutions are designed specifically for pumping installations and all the components are fully integrated from the outset. Life Cycle Cost analyses have shown how this seemingly complex and costly process results in tangible benefits for owners. Grundfos remains with you and your pumping solution for the duration, offering commissioning agreements to ensure correct installation and service agreements offering cover for all eventualities, from routine maintenance to spare parts and pump audits.

Related applications
Pressure Management

Demand Driven Distribution

Water companies continue to dedicate significant resources to resolve issues related to non-revenue water (NRW). NRW is water that has been produced and is “lost” before it reaches the customer, thereby costing water companies’ money. The International Water Association (IWA) has developed a detailed methodology to assess the various components of NRW, identifying the following components: unbilled authorized consumption, apparent losses such as water theft and metering inaccuracies, and real losses.

Grundfos is particularly well placed to reduce and control real losses caused by leakage from holes in the mains. Grundfos can help in two ways – by reducing considerably surplus pressure in the pipes system and by lessening the risk of water hammer which causes new holes. The solution in both these cases is the Grundfos Control MPC.

Important to reduce leakage losses

Reducing leakage and overflow requires initiatives such as increasing the speed of leakage detection, optimising asset management and not least by designing a pressure management strategy. Pressure management is now well recognised as being essential to effective leakage management.

Central to a typical strategy is to minimise the losses to existing leaks and reduce the risk of new leaks. Of the methods available for pressure management (pressure reduction, surge relief and level control), pressure reduction is the most common with several approaches available. Grundfos has developed systems to support pressure management systems, and these are integrated in our pumping solutions.

Surplus pressure and water hammer major culprits

The surplus system pressure that arises in low flow situations is a major culprit for increasing losses through existing leaks. The proportional pressure functionality built into the Grundfos Control MPC is a unique tool for eliminating this surplus. The controller monitors system conditions, detects the increase in system pressure and adapts the set point accordingly. For the consumer there is no change in tap pressure, but leakage is reduced significantly.

Best known in the Grundfos Hydro MPC booster using vertical multistage centrifugal pump (CR) pumps, the Grundfos Control MPC is also used with systems with other than CR pumps.

An important contributing factor behind new leaks is water hammer. Caused by sudden momentum changes in a pipe system, this phenomenon can be reduced or eliminated by lowering fluid velocities, gradual pump rampup/ramp-down or reducing pump size, for example. Software analysis packages exist today; these vary in complexity, dependent on the processes modelled.

One example is that the sudden momentum changes that cause water hammer can be avoided by a gradual ramp-up, likewise with ramping down. This is a standard pre-programmed function in the Grundfos Control MPC.

Control NRW and optimise the pumps system

Leakage and overflow can cost water companies much more than the water lost from the distribution system. Grundfos expertise is always available to safeguard customers’ pumps system against the destructive effects of water hammer and surplus pressure.

By analysing system conditions and consumption patterns, Grundfos specialists assess the options for each distribution network. Our recommendations are held up against the economic level of leakage and the resources available to maintain a viable pressure management strategy.

For example, a big pump has a big water hammer effect; this is a factor of the pump’s inertia. Smaller pumps reduce the risk of water hammer and involve lower capital investment and operating costs and will reduce energy consumption and leakage loss.

Proportional pressure control unique to Grundfos

Proportional pressure control automatically optimises energy consumption and minimises water loss and is a solution unique to Grundfos. In the Control MPC, proportional pressure control compensates for excessive system pressure by automatically adapting the set point to the actual flow. In situations with high low, the pressure loss in the pipe system is relatively high. If the pressure loss in the pipe system is 1 bar, the discharge pressure of the system must be set to 6 bar in order to deliver a system pressure of 5 bar.

In a low-flow situation, the pressure loss in the pipe system may only be 0.2 bar. This would increase system pressure to 5.8 bar if the set point is fixed to 6 bar. The surplus 0.8 bar represents excess energy consumption and a strain on the mains pipes.

To compensate for this excess system pressure, the proportional pressure function automatically reduces discharge pressure to 5.2 bar, yielding significant reductions in energy consumption and non-revenue water.




Demand Driven Distribution

Demand Driven Distribution

Reliable and cost-effective water distribution.

Pump handbook

Pump Handbook

A guide to dimensioning and optimising reliable pumping systems.


Demand Driven Distribution case story

Grundfos Demand Driven Distribution provides substantial reductions in leakage losses and energy costs.


Take a step back...

And see the bigger picture. Grundfos Water Utility profile brochure.

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17 Beatrice Tinsley Crescent, Albany, North Shore City, 0632