Background, aims and objectives

Sparked by academics' recognition of the world-wide necessity for clean water, Pipe Dreams aimed to further understand water distribution systems.

A glass of clear water


Safe, clean drinking water is the foundation of society. The buried infrastructure of our water distribution system consists of an extremely complicated mix of materials, pipe sizes, structures and appurtenances connected in a network, usually loops, developed in a piecemeal manner over time. It acts as a dynamic physical, microbiological and chemical reactor, with a high surface area and highly variable residence times. A variety of major and interacting, physical, chemical and biological processes occur within that degrade the quality of drinking water as it is transported.

Aims and objectives

Pipe Dreams aimed to integrate microbiological, chemical and computing science with engineering within a multidisciplinary team to better understand the complex physical, chemical and biological interactions that occur within water distribution systems to develop new knowledge, tools and techniques to maximize the performance of the existing ageing buried pipe infrastructure and to strategically identify and target future investment.

Flagship institutes

The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.