How to minimise water loss with sensors

Water utilities in the USA lose on average 16% of their water through leaking pipelines. This means 16% of produced water never reaches their customers. Imagine Coca Cola or PepsiCo losing 16% of their product between leaving the factory and reaching their customers. And not just one year, but many years in a row! Would they still be in business?

Water loss is a waste of valuable resources and negatively impacts cost recovery of water services. Such water loss is unacceptable.

Sensor technologies which enable rapid detection of leaks help to improve insight into the state of underground water infrastructure and support the prioritisation of pipe renewal and replacement. Sensors help to define a viable business case, so that investments result in maximum benefits for both the utility and its customers.

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Water utilities worldwide lose US$ 14 billion in non-revenue water per year (Worldbank)


75% of leakage events are avoidable


Recoverable water loss in the USA is 17.5 million cubic metres per day.


Event detection in the distribution network and stakeholder involvement in action programmes

Drinking Water Utility A in the USA uses its online sensors for a wide variety of reasons, including the understanding of hydrodynamics, water quality and trouble-shooting. Online sensors for conductivity for instance are very effective at understanding water movement and mixing in a distribution system. When issues arise, online water quality data is useful in diagnosing the problems and in developing options for resolution.

The combination of grab samples and online monitoring helped identify areas of low usage/flow and oversized mains in the distribution system. Utility A was able to demonstrate significant detection of water quality issues with online sensor data.

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    How much water does your utility produce/transport per year?

    What is the (estimated) annual leakage rate at your utility??

    Which of the following technologies are currently used at your utility:

    Sensor technologies for rapid detection of leakageRobotic technologies for pipe inspectionsData-analytics tools and/or software applications to improve insight into water loss and implement renewal and replacement strategies.AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) to detect leakage within homes and other buildings.None of the above.

    What is the first thing you need to help your utility move forward on this issue?

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