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Minimising water leakages from the water distribution system

The management of water losses from municipal water distribution networks is an important part of sustainable water supply. It not only benefits the water resource itself in terms of the water saved, it also reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions derived from pumping and treating water.

Public administration bodies can minimise water leakages by:

  • carrying out a detailed and accurate water balance of the water distribution system and managing water pressure, avoiding excessive pressure by transient control, network sectorisation and pressure-reducing valves
  • analysing the water distribution network and dividing it into adequate district metering areas to detect leakages by manual or automatic acoustic water leakage detectors or step testing, and with the support of hydraulic models that identify and locate leakages
  • responding promptly and adequately to the identified faults and leakages of the network with own personnel or third-party contracts, or a combination of both
  • building a database to list and geo-reference all technical installations and their relevant data, such as age of pipes, types of materials, hydraulic data (diameter, depth position and flow capacity), pipe conditions, previous interventions and damage statistics, therefore increasing the accuracy of knowledge of the whole network.

This best practice does not refer to post meter leakages, which are described in deploying full water metering at the houdehold/final user level.  


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