What is best practice when splitting water mains designated as a complex edge in a geometric network? I have currently been splitting mains at valves. I will eventually want to take advantage of the network tracing tool in desktop and WAB.
Jake, I'm also researching this right now. I haven't found a definitive answer, but here are some other posts I've found with more info:
From an asset management point of view, I can see it being problematic to have a separate record/ID for the small section of "main" (which is really the flange or mechanical joint) between the center of the valve and the center of the fitting. It's also more work!
I also know methods differ on what is preferred for hydraulic modelling. Since demands get assigned to the nearest node, I've been told it's advantageous to break the main at the valves and assign the system valve feature class as a node in the model. I guess the hydraulic model closes pipes instead of placing barriers at points, like in the geometric network. Breaking the main at the valve allows the model to shut the small section of main between the valve and the fitting, while still providing flow to the demands that have been allocated to the valve from the other direction in a looped system.
Lastly, I'm curious what the schema model for the new Utility Network expects for pressurized water distribution systems. My thinking is that if it expects splits at the valves, it will be easier to migrate if you just get it done now in the geometric network.
I've struggled with this question as well. The requirements of our hydraulic model made the final decision. We use Innovyze Infowater, and the modeling requirement is for line splits at every distribution pipe intersection and line splits at every control valve that will be used within the hydraulic model.
In your original question, you mentioned you wanted to use the network tracing tool - interested to know what end user workflow(s) you are trying set up for the groups with the tool? Which group, what would they do with it?
On the hydraulic modeling aspect, there are typically model clean up tools in those software's to simplify the network , reduce unnecessary calculation burden, i.e. not modeling fittings, only intersection of pipe. Maybe check with the engineering group running the modeling software and see what tools exist for model side for cleanup/model building? Could make your life a little easier on your end.
With respect to the valves, in some modeling software I have seen the valves require a split of the pipe, and some reference the pipe to keep you from having to break assets in GIS.