High leakage levels, inefficient pipe network maintenance, customer complaints and financial losses are some of the top challenges of water utilities. Many of these troubles can be effectively countered – if you know how to nip the problem at the bud by dealing with the issue of non-revenue water (NRW).
NRW is water that has been produced but cannot be billed. The loss can be the result of leakage or overflow (sometimes referred to as physical losses), theft of water or inaccurate metering (also known as apparent losses), or free use (for example, for firefighting). Calculations suggest that more than US$14 billion is lost every year by water utilities around the world due to NRW. The World Bank recommends that NRW should be less than 25% of the total water produced, while in many countries NRW is up to 60%. High levels of NRW are detrimental to the financial viability of water utilities and pose an extra burden on paying customers. Continue reading “Ways to permanently reduce non-revenue water levels”
Global warming, rising sea levels and rapidly growing cities are placing immense pressure on coastal cities, towns and subsistence communities. The U.S. Population Reference Bureau estimates that almost 6 billion people will be living within 200 kilometres of a coastline by 2025 – close to double the number in 2003. Population growth – along with sea level rise compounded by storm surges and increased rainfall intensity due to climate change – are the key reasons for the increase in coastal flooding and the degradation of our coastal regions and ecosystems today. Continue reading “Best practices for successful coastal flooding adaptation”
Stormwater ingress to a city’s sewer system through low gully traps, illegal connections, broken pipes or unsealed manholes is known as Inflow and Infiltration (I&I). This can cause overflows, system strains and interruptions.
What is Inflow & Infiltration?
Inflow: Stormwater that enters the wastewater network directly through gully traps, roofs or illegal connections.
Infiltration: Stormwater or groundwater that enters the wastewater network through cracked pipes and leaky or faulty manholes.
Continue reading “How to reduce inflow and infiltration in a wastewater network”
Potential problems with insufficient water circulation in water tower tanks
Many would assume that water quality is best in the storage tank or near the tank. While that is often the case, there are exceptions where this might be the opposite. Continue reading “Is the darkest place under the candlelight?”
Analyse the cumulative contact time with a new computational method
The role of hydraulic models in risk assessment analysis
Most hydraulic models provide a ‘water age’ option that allows users to calculate the residence time of water within the pipe network. While this is a standard water quality indicator used in practice, it does not address the issue when we need to analyse the contact time with pipes of a specific material, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Continue reading “Is the water quality of your network affected by the PVC in plastic pipes?”
Meeting water quality standards and providing timely information is a burning need today
Recreational use of water bodies can deliver important benefits to health and well-being. Yet, there may also be adverse health effects associated with recreational use if the water is polluted or unsafe.
Sewage outfalls, storm water overflows, plant releases, agricultural production effluents – water bodies are subjected to many polluted discharges. When these water bodies are also used for recreational purposes, the safety of the population is at risk. Ensuring safe discharges into recreational waters and informing bathers if pollution occurs is therefore crucial for human health.
Continue reading “How to become better at maintaining safe recreational water”
Avoid the mistake of having a poorly thought-out fire protection plan
‘For centuries, water has been used to extinguish fires. The inexpensiveness and availability of water are the primary factors leading to its widespread use. But, not only must water be available for fire protection, it must be available in adequate supply. As a result, the question must be asked, how much water is necessary to be considered an adequate supply for fire protection?’
(Milke, J.A. 1980. How Much Water Is Enough? The International Fire Chief (March), pp. 21–24.)
Continue reading “How to conduct fire flow assessments for your water distribution system”
Safeguarding the quality of your treated water
Water age is an important performance indicator to many utilities because excessive age can cause problems with disinfection by-products (DBPs).
The water age refers to the time it takes for water to travel from a water source to consumers and is influenced by water distribution system flow velocities and pipe lengths. Continue reading “How to understand water age within your water distribution network”
And the four best ways to address it
Picture this: the skies darken and the air starts to tingle. A storm arrives and with it a deluge of rain, eager to fill up the dams and ready to tumble fast into the riverbeds. We stay inside our homes and watch the downpour, warm and cosy.
Then the rivers burst, splashing into the streets, seeping through the cities and flooding muddy waters into our once cosy homes. The world can change on the whim of nature and it can happen in a matter of hours, or even minutes. Continue reading “Flooding: the damage, the danger, and the disruptions”
Did you know that a high non-revenue water (NRW) rate could affect your quality of life in more ways than you think? Or has it occurred to you that USD 9 million worth of water is being lost annually in Asia, for example? Learn more about NRW in this infographic:
Continue reading “Infographic: Why you should care about non-revenue water”