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Research into the origins and nature of discolouration problems shows that the major cause is the resuspension of accumulated sediments in pipes. Self-cleaning networks maintain a certain self-cleaning velocity that is attained at least once every day. At this velocity sediments are kept in suspension, thus preventing their accumulation. The Self-Cleaning Networks tool provides you with the design rules for such networks and calculates the water velocity and pressure in your design. 

Self-Cleaning Networks benefits:

  • Optimal distribution network design, in terms of both quality and costs.
  • For your clients, investment savings of about 20% in new and rehabilitated networks.
  • For your clients, practically no operational (cleaning) costs.

Two prerequisites for the successful application of the design rules is a good understanding of the needs for fire flows and a close cooperation with the fire department on the matter.


The tool consists of a manual with the basic design rules and a calculation program to aid the actual design of self-cleaning networks.

The manual explains the design rules regarding the estimation of individual demand, the self-cleaning velocity, and the determination of pipe lay-out and pipe diameter sizing. A software tool is provided to check the pressure drops in the various branches and to locate the adjusted fire hydrants.

The tool is aimed at designers of distribution networks. Its use results in networks that differ from conventional ones: the lay-out has a branched structure with declining pipe diameters. The fire flows are lower than those commonly applied, but fully meet fire-fighting needs, including the large water requirements during the initial phases of fighting a fire: the additional needs are met from secondary provisions.

Software & downloads

The software calculates the pressure drops and velocities in a branched network as a function of the individual demand per connection. It also checks pressure drops that result from fire flows at the hydrants. The software assists in the process of designing of distribution networks, allowing for a quick check of the relevant parameters. The dynamic design process is facilitated by the simple and straightforward input and output procedures.

More refinement of the application can be achieved when it is combined with the Water-Use Info tool.


There are several forms of support available to ensure that you optimize your use of the Self-Cleaning Networks tool, and that you are updated on all the latest developments. Specifically, you can make use of the following options to suit your particular situation:

  • A short introductory course on self-cleaning networks for you and your clients.
  • A more elaborate course on the theory and practice of the Self-cleaning Networks tool.
  • Expanded or modified Self-Cleaning Networks functionalities to create tailored solutions.
  • Consultancy services, including technical process management and reporting.
  • Access to Self-Cleaning Networks-related projects or research.


Mentioned in: 2 Publications
Enrolled in: 2 Cases in 1 Country

Tool Expert(s)

Mirjam Blokker

+31 (0) 30 60 69 533

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