Limit water hammer damages using InfoWorks WS Pro and InfoWorks TS

See how you can efficiently and effectively mitigate transients to limit infrastructure damages

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August 24, 2020 | Eland Afuang

Water hammer (also called hydraulic transients or surge) can have disastrous consequences, from impacting field crew safety to costly pipe breakages (positive transients) or pipe collapses (negative transients). Negative pressure events can also provoke the insertion of dirt or dirty water in pipes through leakage points or faulty joints, affecting the quality of potable water. Finally, damages to system equipment such as pipes, pumps, and valves, can develop over time after repeated transient events.

Hydraulic transients occur in any pressurised systems, in both water supply and pressurised sewer systems. Pressure waves and water hammer happen with sudden changes in demand, when a valve opens/closes too rapidly, or a pump turns on/off too abruptly. This can occur for several reasons, such as power outage, operator error, and protection device failure due to lack of maintenance.

Because the pressure waves start and move through the system, and die very quickly, damages to the system can go unnoticed until failure occur. Therefore, modelling transients and understanding the sources of potential hydraulic transients is imperative for utilities.  

InfoWorks WS Pro is fully integrated with InfoWorks TS Pro, providing modellers with an efficient and effective way to mitigate transients:

  • Identify the initial boundaries:

You can productively calculate the steady-state conditions within InfoWorks WS Pro, and within the same interface, use the results as input for the InfoWorks TS engine to simulate water hammer.

  • Evaluate the potential for significant pressure transients:

Easily model any status of your system’s operating equipment (e.g. pumps, valves, hydrants), and get a sound understanding of the extent of any resulting water hammer issues for each equipment operation option you are testing.  You are also able to visualise whether vapour will begin to form causing cavitation. It means when water columns around the vapour meet, it causes an immediate high rise in pressure that can damage your equipment.

  • Developing a transients control strategy:

Simulate the impact of adding various protection devices (e.g. valves, air release and pressure relief valves, surge tanks), on the rest of your network and assess whether another surge control device might be more protective of water hammer phenomena. InfoWorks TS will help you size protection devices optimally.

  • Trust your hydraulic transients’ results:

It is a computational technique for transient flow analysis based on the concept of pressure wave generation and propagation in pipe systems. The method assumes that transient flow in pipes is a result of pressure waves generated at the point of disturbance being propagated throughout the pipe system. Unlike the traditional Method of Characteristics (MOC), WCM requires far fewer calculations while producing virtually identical results. This extremely efficient and accurate method can analyse transients in large hydraulic distribution systems and permits surge to calculate transients with extreme speed.

Watch InfoWorks TS in action

Learn more:

Contact us to learn how to save by either adding InfoWorks TS to your InfoWorks WS Pro license, or by purchasing both software products as a bundle – on 07 5506 5700 or by email at

Tags: water distribution, infrastructure damages, infoworks ws pro, infoworks ts, hydraulic transients, surge, leakage, potable water

Eland Afuang

Eland Afuang

Water Supply Solutions Leader


Eland has 13+ years of experience in the water industry specialising in the field of network simulation, system analysis and operational modelling of water distribution systems. He has helped implement, provide bespoke training and support using best in class hydraulic modelling applications to both public and private space across Australia and overseas.

Perrine Parrod

Perrine Parrod

Global Product Marketing Manager


Perrine is a Global Product Marketing Manager at Innovyze.