Monitoring Safety and Security of the Trieste Acqueduct



Trieste is a municipality located across the borders between Italy and Slovenia. It is the most populated one in the region Friuli Venezia Giulia, with approximately 410,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area. The water supply system of the city has always been particular, with some critical issues that make the system unique. Nearby Trieste there are no close water resources, due to Karst topography, which causes the Absence of superficial hydrography.

In fact, the water supply in the city is guaranteed by two water mains, one running along the coastline for around 23 km, the other running under the sea, with a length of 18 km. Water is then pumped through a series of plants all over the city, up to the Karst area.


A system like this is very hard to manage, especially from the point of view of the energy consumption. Moreover, the supply is guaranteed by groundwater coming from areas around the Isonzo river, and, in a small amount, from three rivers (Sardos, Sablici, Timavo) that are quite sensitive to pollution.

Actions and expected results


In this context, there are three main proposed solutions:


New multiparametric probes should be installed in the water distribution network or other places (to ensure safety in case of pollutions) and integrated in the current control system and in the rivers that contribute to the water supply: Isonzo, Timavo, Sablici, Sardos. The benefit of this solution is to ensure the highest level of safety. Same time, it is really important to have a real time management, especially with emerging pollutants (medicals, hormones, drugs), in order to avoid the spread of the contamination. In case of spills in the Slovenian area, it should be checked how the pollution will spread in the rivers.


Hydrogeological balance simulations, modeling of the pollutant propagation in the water supply system and flood risk mapping for different climate scenarios and external incident and several configuration of the drinking use network. The benefit of this is the improvement of the current modelling system in order to help the optimization of the management of the water supply under extreme climate conditions or external incidents (extreme droughts, floods and tides or malfunctions of one of the 2 pipelines or pollution upstream)


Improvement of communication with first responders and citizens

Lead partners