We lose an estimated 48 billion m³ of water from water distribution systems each year.
These huge losses are the result of leaks, which can occur essentially anywhere throughout a water distribution system. Working to prevent these leaks and manage the network effectively can reduce the amount of water lost, and there are several ways to do this.
For 5 ways to reduce the water loss in a water distribution system, keep reading.
1. Divide the Network Into Sections
Water distribution networks span very large areas, which can make managing them difficult. Dividing the network into multiple smaller sections makes things much easier. These sections are known as DMAs (district metering areas) and make it much easier to effectively monitor the network.
You can calculate water losses in each separate section to determine the areas with the most issues. Operators can then make effective decisions about individual sections to maintain efficiency.
2. Assess and Repair Quickly
One of the main benefits of using DMAs is that operators can react quickly to any issues and resolve them more easily. Unattended leaks can waste a lot of resources, and may even develop into larger issues.
This also helps keeps disturbances to a minimum which is beneficial for customers. For organizations that need a steady water supply, including emergency services, this is even more crucial.
3. Monitor the Water Network
Noise loggers can detect leakages in the water distribution network. They can be integrated into ground-level surface boxes and will react to the sound of a water leak.
These make it much easier for operators to locate leaks in the network. With these, it’s also possible to better manage water pressure throughout different DMAs, helping to maintain a steady water supply in all areas.
4. Control the Network Pressure
Pressure management is the best way to reduce losses from leaks and maintain a steady water supply. When a leak does occur, high pressure will increase the amount of water lost. It’s also worth noting that pressure fluctuations in pipes cause them to expand and contract, which is one of the main causes of leaks.
Control valves help control the pressure through different network sections. This is ideal for good water loss management while still supplying water where it’s needed.
Effective pressure management also helps reduce energy consumption. When low pressure is sufficient (such as during off-peak hours) less energy is needed.
5. Use Data
When managing any system, collecting and analyzing data can help with improvement. It’s no different here.
Real-time data can be collected throughout the network in several ways. Decisions can then be made to meet changing demands. It’s even possible to use automated systems for this, reducing the manual input needed and saving time.
Automated systems can also help improve water quality. Automatic flushing can remove old water from the system before DBPs (disinfection byproducts) form.
Maintaining an Efficient Water Distribution System
The water distribution system is essential for supplying water to homes and businesses, and using the above methods to reduce water loss from leaks is crucial. Monitoring the network and attending to issues quickly is key, and maintaining suitable pressure in different areas will minimize losses.
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