The University of Sheffield
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Civil Modules

Current Module Sheet

The information contained within this module sheet is subject to change at any time.

CIV6746 Postgraduate Module

Design of Water Distribution and Sewer Networks

Credits: 15

Semester : Spring

Pre-requisities : None

Year offered: 2017-18

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Dr Richard Collins

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Module Description:

This module will provide students with a high level of knowledge and understanding as to how aging water distribution and urban drainage systems operate in the UK. Teaching will focus on acquiring knowledge about current regulatory and design practices. Students will also be required to use industry standard software to apply hydraulic and water quality/pollution concepts to evaluate  and modify the performance of water distribution and sewer networks. Students will be expected to demonstrate this knowledge and understanding via application in case studies - water distribution network and a sewer network.  


The aim of the module is for students to gain a high level of knowledge and understanding of current research and design practice for water distribution and sewer networks.  Students will be expected to demonstrate this knowledge and understanding via application in case study designs.

Learning Outcomes:

[1] Demonstrate understanding of the concepts and processes associated with the performance of modern, compliant water distribution and sewer networks.

[2] Demonstrate a knowledge of current design practice with regard to water distribution and sewer networks in the UK.

[3] Demonstrate an ability to use industry standard software tools.

[4] Demonstrate an ability to synthesize and use complex information to produce appropriate technical solutions.  

[5] Apply current design practice in case study applications and so demonstrate an ability to deliver a compliant solution and justify and communicate design decisions.


Individual design report for water distributing system case study

Interview to examine progress on sewer network case study

Individual design report for sewer network case study

Interview to examine progress on the water distribution case study

Please note, these assessments may be subject to change.






Oral Assessment (Individual or Group) (LO2,LO3,LO4) 10
Oral Assessment (Individual or Group) (LO2,LO3,LO4) 10
Individual Coursework, this includes lab reports, designs etc (LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5) 80

Assessment Preparation:

The module aims to provide students with knowledge and an ability to use the latest design methods for water distribution and sewer networks. The assessment involves the application of the knowledge and skills that students have obtained through complex real world case studies. The case studies have been selected to test understanding of significant aspects of water distribution and sewer network design. This requires a high level of knowledge and computational skill and the ability to clearly justify design decisions. 

Exam Preparation Folder


Formative feed back will be given during individual oral assessments.

Teaching Methods :

Lectures, software classes, tutorial sessions and directed reading will be used to develop understanding and skills in the application of design tools.

Please note, these are the approximate hours spent on each teaching activity.




Lectures 20
Problem Solving / Example Classes 18
Independent Study(including Prep for Assessment) 112

Outline of Syllabus:

Water Distribution Networks 

Water industry challenges and the need for network models.

Operation of Distribution Networks

Key components, demand patterns, leakage, customer interuptions, integrated management of components.
Hydraulic concepts and theory.
Details of latest research.

Hydraulic Performance of Distribution Networks

Modelling approaches and pitfalls.
Application of software with callibration and verification.

Water Quality Processes and Modelling Approaches

Water quality concepts and theory.
Demonstrating new techniques for modelling and visualising water quality operation.
Application of software.

Latest research and development

Issues such as discolouration, transients, contaminant ingress and microbiology

Sewer Networks

Types of urban drainage system, regulations regarding discharge consents, climate change impacts on rainfall, application of hydrodynamic concepts, overview of urban drainage modelling concepts, concepts of pollution and water quality impacts from sewer networks.

Health & Safety:


Recommended Reading:

(Click to see)

[1] Highly RecommendedButler D, Davis JW (2000) Urban Drainage, ISBN 0-419-22340-1

[2] Highly RecommendedThomas M. Walski, Donald V. Chase, Dragan A. Savic (2001) Water distribution modeling, Waterbury, Conn.:Haestad Press. ISBN: 0965758044

[3] Highly RecommendedTwort, A.C., Ratnayaka, D.D. and Brandt, M.J. (2000) Water Supply: 5th Edition, Arnold. ISBN: 0340720182

[4] RecommendedNicolson, N. J. (1993) An Introduction to Drinking Water Quality, Institution of Water and Environmental Management. ISBN: 187075218x