02 November 2022
Water networks are not watertight: they deteriorate as they get older, and new leaks appear over time. Leak detection must be a continuous process. A recent IWA report concluded that the following steps should be taken to reduce leakage:
Leak detection involves the installation of meters across the network’s districts. This means dividing the network into sectors, installing meters and data loggers in each sector, and then analyzing the night flow of each. Although this system can not locate the leak itself, it can identify the sector in which the leak is located.
To do this, the data loggers record the data and send it to the central station to be analyzed by the operators. This minimizes travel and clearly defines the priority areas for intervention. The data loggers send alert in real time in the event of an anomaly and, in addition to measuring volume and flow, they can measure pressure and even regulate it by controlling the PRV valves (see SOFREL LS-V). Acoustic listening tools are then used to pinpoint the location of the leak.
Water pressure and its variations pose several problems in the network: they make it difficult to meet user demand and in turn increase water losses through existing leaks. Because drinking water distribution systems are designed to provide optimal pressure at all points in the system, 24 hours a day, and because the amount of water required varies considerably with changes in consumption at different times of the day, supply systems generally operate at excessive pressure.
Pressure regulation is therefore necessary to ensure that they operate efficiently. This is achieved by installing pressure reducing valves and actively regulating them so that the pressure varies between periods of high and low consumption. The SOFREL LS-V data logger allows automation of this regulation according to schedules or predefined thresholds.
There are many benefits of this approach, for example: