Water System Optimization

water-system-optimization-venn-hansen-allen-luceThree parameters drive the operation of a water system: hydraulic performance, energy efficiency, and water quality. An optimized water system achieves a balance of the three, operating in a sweet spot at their intersection.

HAL’s water system optimization services align these three parameters. Water system optimization is a growing best practice that benefits the provider, consumer, and the environment.

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The main tool we use for water system optimization is an extended-period hydraulic model—a computer simulation that describes how a water system performs under various conditions. We have exceptional insight and experience to develop an effective model and find optimization opportunities. We also complete a mass balance to understand where water is being used and an energy map to determine the most efficient facilities.

Hydraulic Performance (Level of Service)

Fulfilling a critical human need, water systems must be reliable. As demands for better water service increase, providing that service will be a challenge. Our optimization techniques help manage water sources, pressures, storage, and distribution to maintain a high level of service, regardless of the system’s size. Spanish Fork, Utah, observed that its water system actually performed better during a drought than before thanks to optimization.


Energy Innovator of the Year
Utah Governor’s Excellence in Energy Awards, 2015

Best of State — Civil Engineering
Best of State, 2015, 2016

Public Works Project of the Year
APWA Utah Chapter, 2015

Energy Efficiency

Energy represents the largest controllable cost of providing water and wastewater services, but is often not considered in design. According to the EPA, energy can account for 40 percent of drinking water costs and is expected to increase 20 percent in the next 15 years due to population growth and tightening drinking water regulations.

With proper engineering that considers energy requirements, water delivery can be much more efficient and cost-effective. We have helped clients save over 30% on energy costs through operational and capital improvements that resolve common inefficiencies. In 2015 and 2016 we helped Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District reduce their energy use by 23% through non-capital changes that optimized the district’s water sources.

HAL and its partners also offer energy audits for water and wastewater utilities, as well as assessments of renewable energy opportunities like wind, solar, and hydro.

Energy Cost Savings

  • Jordan Valley WCD: $450,000/yr (19%)
  • Logan, Utah: 22%
  • North Salt Lake, Utah: 32%
  • Spanish Fork, Utah: $75,000/yr (29%)

Water Quality

Delivering a high-quality product is one of a water system’s main objectives. The hydraulic model can simulate chemical reactions throughout a pipe network and identify potential water quality problems such as low chlorine, high disinfection byproducts, poor blending, and stagnant water. We then recommend actions to improve water quality. Our optimization study for Blanding, Utah, included a plan for arsenic control and sampling to meet regulatory standards.


[HAL] has helped make Logan City’s water system more efficient to the point of saving over $100,000 per year in just energy savings. It has been amazing to see how familiar [HAL] has become with how our system operates. That familiarity has led to many suggestions and operational recommendations for improvements above and beyond the typical scope of work.

Paul Lindhardt

Logan City Water
Wastewater Division Manager

Full-Service Engineering

Beyond optimization, we offer complete planning and design services for water infrastructure. Over the past 40 years we have completed hundreds of projects throughout the Intermountain West. Our high rate of repeat business testifies of clients’ satisfaction with our work.

Please contact us to discuss optimization and other opportunities for your water system. Funding assistance for an optimization study or an energy-related capital project may be available.