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Flow hydraulic characteristics determining the occurrence of either smooth or abrupt sewer pressurization

  • Autori: Ferreri, G.; Ciraolo, G.; LO RE, C.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2014
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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Laboratory experiments showed that pipe pressurization consequent on a drastic reduction in the downstream discharge can occur either by a gradual rising of the free-surface (“smooth” pressurization) or by propagation of a front filling the whole cross-section (“abrupt” pressurization). This study examines the free-surface flow characteristics that determine smooth or abrupt pressurization pattern through a theoretical approach using dimensionless variables. A critical flow rate value, which separates the pressurization patterns, exists for any given pipe diameter. For flow rates higher than this specific value, only abrupt pressurization occurs. For lower flow rates, either smooth or abrupt pressurization can take place; smooth pressurization occurs when the free-surface flow depth falls within a specified range, depending on the flow rate itself and the pipe diameter, whereas abrupt pressurization occurs when the depth falls outside this range. The comparison with actual uniform-flow conditions allows one to predict the pressurization pattern and the related pipe surcharge (in the case of abrupt pressurization). The analysis also shows that, in practice, severe surcharges can be expected even in the case of only partial reduction of the downstream discharge.