Most utilities are experiencing heavy water loss issues, so today is the time to begin putting in place a workable, efficient and cost-effective leak detection system. Six billion gallons of water go unaccounted for each day.
Well, where does all that water go? Are meter errors causing it? Billing errors? What about leakage?
The Puzzle Of Leak Detection And Water Loss:
A question we often get, “How much leakage do I have in my system?” This can be a mystery. So let’s begin by taking a look at a very simple method to solve the water loss puzzle. If we think of water loss as a puzzle, then it has to be identifiable pieces.
Water pipes are often buried deep withing solid floors, under floorboards, within cavities and are often inaccessible without major excavation.
When you have a water leak or consistently damp areas on ceilings or walls, early water leak detection is crucial to avoid major disruption and secondary damage to a buildings structures and its contents. So, what should you do to start the process for detecting this l
Seven years ago, an article was printed in Journal AWWA by the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) water loss control committee. It introduced us to a new audit methodology and identified leakage as the major piece of the puzzle. Here is a formula you can use:
Water Production (or Purchases) – Water Sales = Non-Revenue Water.
Non-Revenue Water comprises a Puzzle.
There are three pieces to this puzzle:
1. Un-billed, authorized use
2. Apparent losses: metering errors, theft, billing error
3. Real losses (overflow and leaks).
Your Leak Detection Program:
When selecting the right leak detection technology and methodology, consider what can better help with reaching your baseline UARL and what will have the best return on investment.
There are two methods here: Metallic systems and non-metallic systems.
Leak Detection For Non-Metal Systems:
Noise is made by a pipe leak. Individual zones can be created, isolating one point of entry for the flow. Measuring the flow into a particular zone after exposing the main can help with isolating an area of high flow and possible leaking. Afterward one can do acoustic leak survey of each hydrant, valve and meter connection.
High flow areas can be detected by squeaking the valve, meaning to close it for several minutes, allowing any leaks in the zone to run, then open it up again very slowly to only about a one-fourth of a rotation sized opening. If there is a leak in that zone the valve key will not stop vibrating. Probably there is not the problem if the duration of the vibration is short. Developments in underground detection technology have resulted in some amazing detection technology, The Inspector 07, and will locate even non-metallic pipe up to 25 feet underground.
A number of utilities have made permanent “measuring pits” for their zones as an effective leak detection measure.
Leak Detection For Metallic Pipe:
It is quicker to perform an acoustic leak survey, instead of district measurements, on a metallic system. Larger cities with aging infrastructure are often the ones who will use DMAs (District Metered Areas). But it cost more to use DMAs.