Water Resources Management

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 1167–1183 | Cite as

Leakage Estimation in Water Distribution Network: Effect of the Shape and Size Cracks

  • Mauro De MarchisEmail author
  • Barbara Milici


The definition of the relationship between the leak outflow, the total head at the leak and other relevant parameters such as pipe stiffness, leak dimension and shape has been object of extensive studies. The attention to a correct estimation of leakages, leak law, is crucial for the management of water distribution systems. Water utilities, in fact, can reduce leakage levels through the leak detection or more usually by pressure management. In the last cases, the known of the relationship between leak discharge and pressure is fundamental. In recent decades, the use of the Torricelli equation has been questioned, because some experimental results showed that it can yield unsatisfactory results, and other formulations have been suggested to model water leakages in water distribution networks. To investigate the effectiveness of the formulations suggested by different authors, an experimental campaign was carried out at the Environmental Hydraulic Laboratory of the University of Enna (Italy) for leaks of different shape and size in polyethylene pipes. The results of the laboratory experiments contribute to clarify the applicability of the leak law for circular and rectangular leaks and suggest that Torricelli formulation is valid in absence of leak area deformation. Furthermore, the analysis contributes to the knowledge of the coefficients of the leak laws used to estimate the leakage outflow.


Water distribution network Leakages Water losses Emitter law 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of Enna KoreEnnaItaly

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