Identifying (subsurface) anthropogenic heat sources that influence temperature in the drinking water distribution system
Abstract. The water temperature in the drinking water distribution system and at customers' taps approaches the surrounding soil temperature at a depth of 1 m. Water temperature is an important determinant of water quality. In the Netherlands drinking water is distributed without additional residual disinfectant and the temperature of drinking water at customers' taps is not allowed to exceed 25 °C. In recent decades, the urban (sub)surface has been getting more occupied by various types of infrastructures, and some of these can be heat sources. Only recently have the anthropogenic sources and their influence on the underground been studied on coarse spatial scales. Little is known about the urban shallow underground heat profile on small spatial scales, of the order of 10 m × 10 m. Routine water quality samples at the tap in urban areas have shown up locations – so-called hotspots – in the city, with relatively high soil temperatures – up to 7 °C warmer – compared to the soil temperatures in the surrounding rural areas. Yet the sources and the locations of these hotspots have not been identified. It is expected that with climate change during a warm summer the soil temperature in the hotspots can be above 25 °C. The objective of this paper is to find a method to identify heat sources and urban characteristics that locally influence the soil temperature. The proposed method combines mapping of urban anthropogenic heat sources, retrospective modelling of the soil temperature, analysis of water temperature measurements at the tap, and extensive soil temperature measurements. This approach provided insight into the typical range of the variation of the urban soil temperature, and it is a first step to identifying areas with potential underground heat stress towards thermal underground management in cities.