These Three Steps: Water Loss Control Program
Obtaining access to clean water is a problem for many developing nations around the world, but there is a different water crisis that is occurring in all of the wealthiest nations: leaks. Not just a little leak. It is estimated that the United States loses almost 8 trillion liters of water a year to leaks in the aging and faulty water systems (Schaper 2014). This isn’t just a problem in the United States. The United Kingdom estimates their losses to be 3.3 Billion liters a day (Johnson & Burton 2010). Canada estimates that 30 percent of the water that enters the supply lines is lost to leaks (Statscan 2013).
How does this happen?
Unfortunately, it happens because of ignorance. It is easy to assume that the water system is functioning at a high capacity when water travels from the treatment plants to your taps with no interruption. The problem is that many pipes are 70 years or older now, many are beneath buildings, roads, and the ground. This is a long time to hold the weight of the busy world above and to transport the resource that beats up our infrastructure most at high speeds.
This ignorance cannot just be blamed on water operators themselves when there has been very little regulation to date. There are only 29 states with any agencies mandating or incentivizing water loss control (Aclara 2015). The movement is gaining ground but it is still very easy for, excuse the pun, things to slip through the cracks.
The reason this movement has had difficulty gaining movement is mostly because of the difficulty of detecting leaks or inspecting pipes in the first place. The technology has developed and there are various ways to reach these pipes now, including the use of mini ROVs for inspections and advanced metering systems.
Effective water loss control is a multi-step process. The three steps that each water infrastructural body needs to undergo are:
- Water Audit
- Component Analysis
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