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New Water Supply System for the City of Palermo [PE]


Plastic Pipes Conference Association # 2001 Munich


Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is full of history and character - but in summer months it is often without water. At present, Palermo is currently implementing the biggest project of its kind in the field of European water distribution (Figures 1, 2 and 3). The population of Palermo is growing constantly. The water distribution network is over 100 years old and is corroding and leaking. The sources of water are limited. In the late Eighties, there was a considerable crisis regarding water distribution, especially during the summer months. What was to be done to get out of this increasingly difficult situation? In 1990, the communal waterworks A.M.A.P. decided on a preliminary study for overhauling the entire water network. It began with a situation analysis and based upon that, a catalogue of requirements for a new water distribution system was put together. Four engineers (G. di Trapani, C. Arici, Bonvissuto and G. Curto) were given this task. Time was of the essence for various reasons. First, Palermo’s population had doubled within half a century. Second, the existing system lost a dramatic 45-50% of its water, and what’s more, the area is subject to earthquakes and doesn’t have enough reservoirs. It only has three reservoirs at its disposal, each with a capacity of 36,000 cubic metres and which are fed by man-made lakes from the nearby mountains. Thus it is no surprise that the drinking water won from surface water was often insufficient during the hot and dry summers frequently experienced in Sicily. For months there was running water only every other day and then for only two to three hours!

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