Water Leakages in Municipal Water Networks
Water is one of man’s most important needs. We must not waste it as it has become a rare commodity in some parts of the world. The population of many countries has increased, so they have a greater demand for water. Our erratic climate conditions are also causing a decrease in rainfalls, and the common methods of water extraction are no longer as effective.
It’s Dripping, Dripping
Water is dripping somewhere in our water systems. This has been going on for years and will still continue for more years to come unless it is detected and controlled. Water leakage can happen in various forms and in many possible areas. Studies show that Water Companies have targeted Zero leaks in the last decade, but still, new leaks open as old ones are closed. There is no downward trend on water leaks.
Great Loss of Precious Water
Over three billion liters of water are wasted everyday due to leaks. What a great waste of water for us and the future generations! Drought has already been declared in some countries. In many areas, the average water bill shows a triple increase in consumption.
In most cities, an average of 20% of their water supply is lost in leakages. Many cities implement water restrictions as a way of regulating demand and decreasing the losses. Despite these efforts, however, there are still large quantities of water that are lost due to water leakages and faulty water distribution.
Types of Leaks
The Undetected Leak – This leak and the damage it creates can’t be seen and can’t be detected. It is finally discovered only when the damage has become great and a large quantity of water has already been wasted. A leak of one drop in two seconds adds up to a bucketful of water in one day. In two months, that becomes one drum of water.
The Flowing Leak – This refers to a water leak that freely flows from a pipe. In a very short time, it can become a large quantity of wasted water. This may be caused by defects in the pipes or system, hydraulic shocks to the system, accidents, or freezing conditions. This leak usually starts as undetected and becomes worse until the situation becomes an emergency case.
The Dripping Leak – This is a leak that is clearly seen because it is a drop of water per second. This will amount to two buckets of water in one day and a drum of water in one month.
Detection and Control
Water leaks are very difficult to detect as the supply lines are placed at least three feet below the ground level. There are times when the leaking water follows the pipes to the meter. Therefore, if the meter box has indicates water consumption from an unexplained source, then his is one sign of a leak in the supply lines.
Sometimes the leaking water will exit on the spot where the supply lines rise in the ground. The grounds may be damp or wet just above the supply pipe underneath. Homeowners are advised not to repair these types of leaks on their own. They must contact their Local Water Supplier to report such a problem or call a professional plumber to do the repair.
For water leakage management, the new water sensor technology can be of great help. There are also modern thermal gadgets that report on the normal pipe flow rates and the unexpected increase in water flow range. These will point out the damaged pipes and help set priorities for maintenance and repair.