A Heuristic for Strategic Valve Placement

Erika Hernandez Hernandez, Lindell Ormsbee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


An iterative heuristic is proposed to improve the distribution of isolation valves within an existing water distribution network to decrease the magnitude of service interruptions while using the minimum number of valves required to isolate any individual segment within the system. The method takes advantage of graph theory concepts to create a valve augmentation scheme that provides gradual upgrades using the minimum number of new isolation valves at each step. The developed algorithm seeks to provide a tradeoff between an increase in the number of isolation valves and a reduction in water shortages resulting from disconnected pipe segments. The approach is applied to an actual water distribution network with known existing valve locations. The results demonstrate the feasibility and utility of the procedure for multiple operational constraints (i.e., maximum number of valves per segment, or maximum allowable water shortage evaluated over all segments). By use of an incremental performance target set by the user, the algorithm can prove beneficial even for utilities with limited financial resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04021103
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Cut points
  • Isolation valve
  • Network
  • Water distribution system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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