Palmer Leakage Detection Guide | Water Resources | Leak

Leakage Detection and Management
A comprehensive guide to technology and practice in the water supply industry
Written by

David Butler BSc MSc CEng MICE
Published by

Palmer Environmental

David Butler David Butler has over 25 years’ experience in the UK water industry, specialising in analysis, appraisal, auditing, policy development and training in water distribution leakage management and control strategies. Internationally, he has experience of leakage policy development in major cities in India, Germany and the Netherlands. He has provided leakage management training courses in Hong Kong and Portugal, and has addressed and chaired international water engineering conferences on the subject.

Palmer Environmental Palmer Environmental is the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of specialised water leak detection equipment, with over 40 company years’ experience of meeting customers’ leak detection needs. Palmer Environmental supplies products for all aspects of leak detection, including the widest range of leak noise correlators, acoustic products, market leading noise loggers and the first economically justifiable, permanently installed leak detection system. Palmers’ design and manufacturing facility in Cwmbran, UK produces the world’s most advanced, innovative and easy-to-use water leak detection equipment. This is backed up by an international distributor network providing comprehensive service, support and training.

Published by Palmer Environmental Ty Coch House Llantarnam Park Way Cwmbran NP44 3AW Tel: +44 (0) 1633 489479 Fax: +44(0) 1633 877857 email: website:

ISBN 0-9538014-0-3

...........27 Head Loss in Pipelines....45 Meter Selection Criteria.....................................................43 District Metering ......................................................................2 4........................................51 ...................................................20 2.....3 3......................................................................................................................................................................................1 2.............................................................................................................................................................................Helix (Woltmann) ....................................................................................................................................27 Energy Principles .....................................................1 3........................................................................................................................................ 4................. 8 Sources of Leakage ............. 11 Factors Influencing Leakage ..............................................44 Meter Site Selection..........................32 3...................................................4 3.................8 INTRODUCTION TO LEAKAGE DETECTION The Importance of Leakage Reduction ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................30 Pipe Friction Diagrams .....................30 Pipe Flow Formulae.......2 1.............................................................51 Domestic Revenue Meters .............3 1...............................................................................CONTENTS Page 1...6 4...............................................................................................................................................4 2.......................................................11 METERING FOR LEAKAGE DETECTION Hierarchy of Metered Areas.................................44 Recent Meter Improvements ............5 2..............................................32 Network Analysis.................................43 Waste Metering .....................................................................................45 Meter Installation Design.......................5 DISTRICT METER AREA MANAGEMENT Distribution Network Structure ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7 Leakage and Usage ........4 4.......................29 The Hydraulic Gradient .............................................3 2.......................................................16 Consumer Reported Leakage.............................19 Future Considerations ....................................15 Leakage Control Strategies ...........................................................................................................................41 4............................48 Electromagnetic Flow Meters .............................7 1.........49 Insertion Velocity Probes .............................................7 HYDRAULICS AND NETWORK ANALYSIS FOR LEAKAGE DETECTION Introduction ............................................ 1..........10 4.................................4 1....................2 3..............................................................46 Mechanical Meters .................................6 1................................................ 13 Basic Leakage Growth and Active Control .............................................................................................................5 4.................................................................................1 4......................5 1...................................................... 3......40 Links to Other Data Information Systems .......................9 4............8 4...................................6 2...........................40 Commissioning ............................................2 2.............................................................................................................................................7 4...............37 Waste Meter Areas ...............................................1 1......... 2.........................................................37 District Meter Areas.........................3 4..............................................................................................................................................................................................

...........63 Infra-Red Photography........................................................... SERVICES AND VALVES Introduction ............6 8.........5 6..............................72 Waste Metering ........................................................................4 6.......................3 8..............................64 Leak Noise Correlation ............................................................................................................. 7...................................................................................65 Valve Identification .......2 7..................................................................................................................................4 5......................................................................67 8..............5 7........................................65 Location for Mains in a 2m Footpath ...................................................................................62 Meter on Bypass ..............................................................8 8....................................................................................................56 Leak Noise Loggers ................................................................56 Leak Noise Correlator (LNC) ......................74 ..............................6 EQUIPMENT AND LEAKAGE DETECTION TECHNIQUES FOR TRUNK MAINS Introduction ...............................................................................................................................55 Stethoscopes (‘Listening’ or ‘Sounding’ Sticks) .......................................................................................................66 Other Location Methods ...73 Acoustic (Noise) Logging .................................................................................................................................62 Heat Pulse Flow Meter ........................64 7............................................................................................1 7..............................................................................................................................................................3 7............................................................................................2 6........................70 Determination of Leakage from Night Flows ..............................................................1 6..... 8..................3 6.. 5...................................................................................................................................................................................4 8.................................................................................................................................................................................................71 Large Area Sub-Division .......................................70 The Development of Continuous Monitoring ....................5 8.............................55 The Mobile Advanced Step Tester (MAST) .........................................................................2 5................................................................57 Non-Acoustic Equipment and Techniques..................6 IDENTIFICATION OF MAINS................66 Electronic Pipe Locators ...........9 LEAKAGE INDENTIFICATION AND LOCALISATION Demand Patterns ..1 8..........................................59 6..................................4 7...................................................................................................................................... 6.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................6 5.................................................5 5.....................................3 5...........................55 Electronic Sounding Devices.....................................63 Pairs of Insertion Turbine Meters ............................................................................7 8....................5...................1 5............................65 Service Pipe Layouts ................2 8........................71 Necessary Checks .....................................................................72 Step Testing ..70 Night Lines................................................................................................................................................7 DETECTION EQUIPMENT Detection Principles ..

........................5 10...7 RECENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE INTERPRETATION AND USE OF NIGHT FLOW DATA Introduction ........................................................................................................................................................................................6 12..............................................................................97 Cost of Leakage Detection.....................................82 Pressure Reduction Problems ......2 11..............................................................3 10.......................................................................................................................3 9....................................................................................................87 11....................................... 10............................................................................................111 Night Flow and Customer Use......................115 Prioritising Unreported Burst Location Activities .......7 10.....114 Estimating Background Night Flows in Individual DMAs .................................................................................................................................................................................5 11............................................80 Repair..................................................................................... 12...................................................................................................1 11......................................................111 Components of Night Flows ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................6 10.............1 12.......82 Pressure Control Options ..........................................................................................................................81 Leakage Contracts .................................3 12....................................................2 10.................................................................................................................... 85 Identification of Areas for Pressure Reduction .........80 Confirmation ...........................................................................9.................................................................................................................81 10..............79 Visual Evidence .......2 9...............General Overview ..118 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........................................................................................................4 11. 11...............................................................6 9...........93 Policy Development through an Economic Approach .............................................................................................................4 12..........................................98 Typical Total Leakage Costs ...............83 Pressure and Leakage............................................................113 Losses from Bursts......................................................4 9..................................................................100 12.......7 LEAKAGE LOCATION...5 9.......................................85 Pressure Reducing Valves ............................................................... CONFIRMATION AND REPAIR Sounding ................79 Leak Noise Correlation .............................1 10................. Follow-up and Records ........................................................................................................................2 12.....84 Statutory Requirements and Levels of Service .........................................................8 PRESSURE MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT Pressure Management ............................................................................................... 9...................................................................................4 10.................................94 The Unit Cost of Leakage ....................5 12................................................................................111 Bursts and Background Losses ..125 ...............................82 Pressure Control Benefits .....................................................................................................................................................100 Environmental and Social Costs ......3 11............1 9.........................................80 Other Practical Points ...6 THE ECONOMICS OF LEAKAGE MANAGEMENT Introduction .............................

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and consistency of approach.1. Consequently. leakage detection has been seen only as a small part of a much bigger picture. Water Suppliers had little incentive to find and repair leaks because there was seen to be a relatively plentiful resource. less dependable rainfall patterns. in the UK. with the intent of ‘motivating’ for further leakage reductions. This has all changed. with rising temperatures which are forecast to continue. households. breadth of analysis. Research has indicated that customers: • • • • • • don’t think there should be any leakage do not understand the concept of economic levels of leakage listen to the media more than Water Suppliers about leakage performance have more emotional than rational views about leakage perceive a lack of leakage reduction as a profit related issue have mixed views on water conservation and supply pipe responsibility Fourthly. The climate is changing. a more rigorous cost/benefit assessment of economic levels of leakage has been demanded by the Industry Regulators. robustness of the water balance. and to devise better strategies to manage it. With droughts predicted more frequently. Quantity Considerations Climate Change Resource Development Limitations Increasing Demand Regulatory Considerations OFWAT Environmental Agency Drinking Water Inspectorate Customer Considerations Efficiency Perception Shareholder Expectations Legal Responsibilities Economic Considerations An Optimum Level A Consistent Strategy 7 . the cumulative effect on ground water and river supplies will be noticeable.methodology. These four aspects are summarised below. applications to develop new water sources are rigorously examined in the light of leakage reduction performance.1 INTRODUCTION TO LEAKAGE DETECTION The Importance of Leakage Reduction Traditionally. The performances of individual Suppliers are now readily compared in the public view. data quality. and hence to the public. the Industry is having to take much more notice of its customers views. with reporting procedures established. If customers are being encouraged not to waste water. It has become a political issue. there have been three significant droughts in a twenty-year period that have each led to severe supply restrictions in some areas. Furthermore. industry and agriculture are all likely to want more water due to this climate change. Thirdly. Leakage has been brought sharply to the attention of the media. Secondly. Also. and shifting. Firstly. capable of making headlines. the privatisation of the Water Industry and the creation of regulatory bodies have forced Water Suppliers to more accurately quantify leakage. based on a five point criteria:. tough mandatory targets have been set for the Industry in the last half of the 1990s. and comparisons are being sought internationally. then the Suppliers must be seen to be doing more. 1. on top of the normal gradual increases.

An allowance is normally made for miscellaneous usage and non-domestic. the term ‘unaccounted for water’ is used (called ‘U’). In leakage calculations it is known as the quantity ‘S’. It will take into account all leakage from the system. Quantity of Water into Supply The quantity of water put into supply is normally obtained from physical measurements of the water source outputs and therefore the reliability and accuracy of source water meters is of great importance. is thus an important basis upon which to establish leakage control. the errors inherent in the data used make the absolute accuracy of the calculation questionable.g. The classic leakage control formula is:U = S . which is grouped together as ‘accounted for’ water. domestic and non-domestic) Average domestic usage per capita of population.2 Leakage and Usage Definitions Water loss may be defined as that water which having been obtained from a source and put into a supply and distribution system is lost via leaks or is allowed to escape or is taken therefrom for no useful purpose. 8 . a month or two) to assemble and compute. The Total Integrated Flow (or Water Balance) Method is a useful means of assessing the overall leakage performance for a system on an annual basis.e. not just for leakage control. including that from reservoirs and trunk mains. and analysis of trends. Water Suppliers use the above formula to calculate their annual overall leakage levels by what is known as the Total Integrated Flow method (i. However.(M + A x P) Where U S M = = = Unknown or unaccounted for quantities of water including leakage. a ‘top-down’ approach). Sum of all water accounted for by measure (metered supplies. Population supplied (non-metered). non. its comparison area by area. Sum of all water inputs into a system. Water loss is usually quantified on the following basis: Water Loss = (Quantity of water put in to supply) (Non-domestic usage + Domestic consumption) Unaccounted for Water To allow for leakage and quantities termed as ‘other water uses’. A P = = Leakage is within the unaccounted for water value ‘U’.metered consumption.1. but for forward planning and financial management. and can be carried out based on data which all Water Suppliers require. it can take some time (e. ‘Water loss’ is usually considered as ‘leakage’ and ‘water loss reduction’ referred to as ‘leakage control’. The calculation of ‘U’. This is a good way of distinguishing it from the useful water supplied to both domestic and non-domestic consumers. Also.

garden sprinklers left on overnight) Domestic demand in the UK is traditionally evaluated based on estimates of the population served (‘P’) and an estimate of the average daily demand. Measurement in terms of population for this component is not really helpful because metered demand can range from a small café to a large steel works. Data loggers are now light. Some Suppliers expect this figure to double in the near future. This leakage beyond meters is a matter of concern. Non-domestic metered demand can amount to about a quarter of all water supplied.e.g. referred to as per capita demand (‘A’). and by using them in a statistically structured manner. Water Suppliers work closely with population census authorities to ensure the accuracy of estimates used. 15% of UK households are metered. Based on this data and other national studies. because even though the water is paid for. plus some miscellaneous and illegal use. Figure 1. However. and relatively cheap. it is wasteful in resources. the advent of the micro-chip and the modern data logger has made very significant advances in this respect. at the boundary of its apparatus and the beginning of the private customer’s pipework). rugged and reliable. and if left unchecked it can lower the level of service to other customers. Water delivered therefore includes private leakage. it is possible to derive values for domestic per capita consumption with a high degree of accuracy. and are continuously monitored. Some UK Water Suppliers operate Domestic Consumption Monitors by which volunteer households are selectively chosen by property age. It includes leakage on the customer’s side of the meter which has thus been measured and paid for. excessive or extravagant use (e.. Legitimate Use Domestic Domestic demand is a term which includes: reasonable usage in households supplied (usually measured in the UK). Non-Domestic This component of demand is almost totally metered in the UK (only a small component is unmetered) and is designated ‘M’. All water usage is recorded by data logger. and is often expressed as a percentage of water produced. It has been difficult to calculate this per capita value figure reliably until recently. and data retrieval is now being automated for interrogation by telephone. As at year 2000.1 illustrates the water balance. it is considered that actual water used in an average UK household is about 145 litres per head per day.Water delivered Water delivered is defined as the amount of water delivered by the Water Supplier at the stop tap (i. 9 . but excluding meter option households for calculation purposes unreasonable. size and type. Household metering in the UK is becoming increasingly significant as Water Suppliers are required to install more and more domestic meters. This includes allowances for excessive use and is designated ‘A’.

and could be measured. Such flows occur frequently when filling roof tanks and cisterns via ball valves. This is not necessarily so. Even the small diameter positive displacement meters used for consumer metering struggle to record very low flows. they are usually small in total compared to the amount going into supply.Other Uses There are other quantities of water which do not reach the consumer. sometimes not). Water used for mains testing and flushing. and these include: Water used for fire-fighting. and hence they are not measured. use can be a problem. leakage as low as 3% is claimed. water is cheap and a less dangerous product. are accountable. about 25% of the water leaving the treatment works is unaccounted for. Errors Leakage control must be approached in the realistic knowledge that water volume measurement is subject to error. Singapore makes similar claims. Volume of Leakage In round terms in the United Kingdom. and indicates the sources. Illegal. and they take it as indicating poor practice and inefficiency. Water used to clean service reservoirs. on modern systems. it must be accepted that errors exist and values are sometimes approximate. Strictly speaking these water uses are legitimate. and whilst calculation of leakage on a logical basis is essential. streets and other public purposes (sometimes metered and charged for. or per kilometre of main. Water for cleaning sewers. and can give rise to significant under-recording of the quantity used. On the other hand in parts of Northern Europe. and therefore not charged. Meter errors occur because of: an inherent error poor maintenance ageing misreading incorrect location incorrect sizing 10 .2 illustrates the volume of leakage pertaining to the UK. However. although it is normally small. Outsiders to the industry are often amazed to learn that a quarter of the water which has been gathered. it is being distributed through old and very expensive apparatus whose replacement or rehabilitation capital cost is huge. whilst in some developing countries the water losses can vary from 50% to 70%. Huge volumes of water are measured and distributed through a vast. Some water leakage rates are recorded at a rate of 30% and above (in mining areas for instance). and are counted as part of water losses. impounded. In practice. with time. and the water mains system can only be pressurised for a few hours a day. Often it is more useful to express leakage in demand per property. Studies have shown that bulk meters often have significant error which invariably represents an underrecording of the true quantity. Furthermore. Compared to other fluids such as petrol and natural gas where tiny or no leakage at all is demanded. aged network of pipes. treated and pumped should then be lost. Figure 1. this is a simplistic statement and circumstances vary widely.

from considerations of their structural safety as well as for leakage. all flow control valves. This creates leakage which must be controlled by the necessary maintenance. non-metered consumption is also a source of error. age and condition. Water entering the overflow system is preventable and regrettably quite common. Distribution Mains Distribution mains (including trunk carrier mains within them) represent the major source of water leakage in a water supply system. Hydrants. particularly overnight levels.3 Sources of Leakage Treatment Works At the beginning of the water works operation. so it is necessary to regularly record these flows and losses. should have regular inspections and planned maintenance. There is no definitive size range. Trunk Mains and Aqueducts Trunks mains can carry raw water into a treatment works. Periodic operation of a valve will help prevent the need for repairs. The gland sealants will deteriorate with time and sealing surfaces become worn. aqueduct leakage is usually detected and repaired quickly. can often be a useful indication of leakage. The estimation of non-domestic. The Appendix to this section discusses further the potential for error contained within the use of the ‘Unaccounted for Water’ formula. strategic valves and trunk main valves may warrant this attention. each leaking at different rates. It must be stressed that the existence of these errors does not in any way invalidate the need to calculate leakage as carefully as possible. hydrants. but often pipes of 300m and above are considered in this category in the UK. errors can obviously occur because of incorrect assessments of customers served. per capita demand and seasonal variations . Because of their importance and the need to preserve security of supply. stop taps etc need glands to operate effectively. Inspection of reservoir telemetry data. Stop Taps etc Valves. or treated water onwards into the distribution mains system. 1. Service Reservoirs and Water Towers Again. Maintenance of all valves on a set frequency is not recognised as an economic activity.a variation of up to 40% can be experienced between a winter’s day and a hot summer’s day.Where domestic consumption is unmeasured. It usually forms only a small part of the overall leakage total. Similarly. However. this amount can be reduced to 2-3% and is not usually included when leakage control is referred to. It is nevertheless necessary to maintain and monitor reservoirs and water towers carefully. including pressure reducing valves (PRVs). Cracked walls or floors can leak water into underdrain systems. Cracks and joint degradation can be checked for during a regular cleaning programme. Distribution mains are an inheritance of different pipe materials. up to 7% of water can be lost as part of the treatment process. On account of good practice and recycling. 11 . leakage from these structures usually only represents a small proportion of overall water loss. Valves.

any leakage is metered and hence paid for. On domestic premises. Leaking mains’ ferrules will generally have to be replaced. Continued effort by the Water Supplier to pursue these leaks is needed. Access to repair on private supply pipes. internal corrosion can be a significant problem and may prevent a leak-tight shut off. and they can leak seriously. can crack when laid wrongly. Ground movement as a pipe trench settles can overload the joint and induce leakage. Underground Private Supply Pipes These frequently leak seriously. dripping taps and leaking ball valves accumulate to a significant component of the total. compounded by large numbers of very similar specialist parts. Joins to the mains at one end of the communication pipe (mains ferrules) and to the stop tap at the other are a particular source of trouble. Copper pipe can be subject to pin hole attack. Repair of supply pipes is a private responsibility usually enforceable by the Water Supplier but it is nearly always a protracted process. over the years. although the best of the modern materials and giving excellent performance. An ‘O’ ring may look to be the correct fitting but begin to leak the day after it has been back-filled. Private Pipework Above Ground This leakage is considerable and varies greatly with the season. particularly common supplies. is notoriously difficult.External corrosion of valves and hydrants is not generally a reason for failure. Again. Water Suppliers may use special notices to require leakage repair. Joints may have been fabricated in a faulty manner and remain water-tight for a few years only. material and condition once more vary widely but also there is often the added complication of shared responsibility on common or joint supply pipes. For instance. 12 . 1 in 300). especially of the mechanical type. materials and conditions. copper. Pipes burst more often in the winter! On non-domestic premises. each of which can fail. these Water Supplier owned pipes may comprise many ages. Service pipes may be of lead. and in default may have to do the work themselves and recharge it to the customer. are a common source of trouble. Much galvanised iron is now nearing the end of its life and is in an advanced state of corrosion. There is also a suprising increase in the number of such leaks reported. Age. or cranked through a tight radius. galvanised iron or polyethylene. The types of failures experienced with stop taps are usually leakage from joints or the inability to operate the valve through corrosion or washer failure. out-buildings may have been erected over the pipes. National UK investigations have shown that underground private leakage is greater than previously thought but it is only significant on a few properties (approx. and it is the UK experience that the offer of a free repair service greatly helps in terms of time. Service pipe joints. Pipe Joints Pipe joints are a major source of leakage. However. and polyethylene. Service Pipes These too are a large source of leakage.

Soil Conditions Clearly soils influence corrosion and leakage rates. They may be able to forbid the use of fittings conducive to leakage or undue consumption. nature. necessitating welded patch repairs. Furthermore. Failures in the early plastic pipes have been frequent in large diameter sizes. This may occur steadily. and the pipes usually fail by shattering. Leakage often occurs on old or neglected property where the occupiers do not understand their responsibilities. materials strength and workmanship of waste fittings. Steel fails usually with pin holing. Climate and Ground Movement Seasonal variations in climate have a marked effect upon leakage levels. or holes form due to the corrosion process. polyethylene pipes are still being improved/developed. or temporary change. a hard winter induces ground movement in the “freeze/thaw” cycle and this causes a high number of bursts. repairs. Iron mains can then crack and leak. UPVC pipes are not thought to contribute largely to the total water lost. One faulty ball valve alone can account for up to 50 l/day. Cases of subterranean caverns beneath metalled roadways are known where the escaping water hollows out a void by its pressure jet. or wish to afford. It should be checked to ensure that it is not plumbo-solvent. In practice the enforcement of bylaws/regulations is very onerous. Some light soils scarcely affect the pipes whilst others such as Lias clays or alluvium are very aggressive. Concrete lining of iron mains virtually stops internal corrosion but has no effect on external corrosion. Aggressive Water Water fed into supply should be carefully controlled for quality. Trench back-fill of sulphate-rich ashes is especially corrosive. yet if it is not pursued leakage persists. A Water Supplier may have statutory ‘bylaw’ provisions which it can enforce concerning the size. 13 .4 Factors Influencing Leakage Types of Mains Old iron mains still form the majority of mains and they are the worst culprits for leakage. Joint ring failure is sometimes a problem. Continued effort and allocation of resources is needed to contain this type of leakage. acting as a beam under load. or rapidly degenerate into a large burst. provided they are jointed properly. For instance. which can only be good for the future. then it will worsen.Faulty fittings within a house can cause significant loss of water. 1. In a similar way a long drought causes ground movement. and the subsequent collar repair can be a source of future trouble. Certain natural waters have a higher rate of attack on iron pipe than others. Steel mains only form a small proportion of mains and these are usually in aqueducts with cathodic protection. which may be finally precipitated by an increase in pressure. They suffer from both external and internal corrosion attack which progressively weakens them. MDPE (polyethylene) pipes are still a relatively recent introduction but their performance to date is excellent. and may be able to enforce their maintenance. or cannot afford. Once the leakage occurs. flow. and again often results in an increase in the number of bursts. Asbestos cement mains normally fail by cracking.

g. Quality of Materials It is obvious that all materials used in the distribution system must comply with relevant standards for long term usefulness. such tape should have a metallic strip incorporated to assist with location equipment. Where plastic pipe is used. particularly from a water quality point of view. bedding. will prevent the temptation to ‘force’ more water through by increasing pressures at a later date. fire fighting requirements and future development. Removal of support from thrust blocks can lead to excessive joint movement. Mining subsidence can create successive tension and compression of the pipework causing joint movement or failure of the pipe. thus preventing incidental damage and ensuing leakage. be of a high quality. It would ensure that all mains with unrestrained flexible joints had appropriately sized and positioned concrete thrust blocks at all changes of direction and blank ends. and be of the correct operational capabilities. and faulty electrical fittings can create a “to earth” potential onto water pipes which. juxtaposition of copper and stainless steel) can cause galvanic corrosion. Network Design A properly designed distribution system should prevent some vulnerability to leakage at the outset. considering such factors as peak flow. Oversized mains also need to be avoided. jointing and backfilling must be to a high standard. Workmanship There is no substitute for good workmanship of the initial installation in preventing future leakage. be appropriate to the surrounding conditions. Dissimilar Metals Dissimilar metals between pipes and fittings (e. It should also be noted that this now obsolete practice can make service pipes (and mains to some extent) electrically live and dangerous. This may distort leakage estimates for particular years. All mains and services should be laid with the correct amount of cover to the surface. dry weather bring about high demand and a disproportionately high domestic per capita consumption. in turn.Long periods of hot. Such design would assess the need for cathodic protection of steel and ductile iron mains. Correct sizing of mains at the outset. This must be avoided by reference to guidance in bylaws/regulations/standards etc. Temporary earth loops must be used. Pipe handling. will create corrosion and eventual leakage. The use of marker tape sited 300mm above the main will alert excavation to the presence of the main. It should be noted that this can also be created by excavation adjacent to the thrust block destroying passive ground pressure at the supporting face. and appropriately distanced from other underground services. laying. Sudden saturation of dried out sub-soil can also cause problems through local ‘heave’. Electrical Earthing Electrical earthing of buildings to the water fittings has been prohibited in the UK since 1961. It was common before that time. as a repair does represent a potential weakness to the integrity of the system. 14 . Extra care should be given to repair work.

Duration of the Leak A speedy location and repair of leaks is essential to reduce waste levels. and without action to curb it. and corrosion is mostly internal). the repair of bursts and leakage showing on the surface. Time before discovery. swabbing and air scouring. Ironically. Similar care must be taken during mains flushing. time to detect. Leakage will only be reduced by sustained. Disturbance of the Distribution System Severe pressures can be generated by the rapid operation of isolating valves. This is required to prevent damage to persons and property. controlled manner. would grow to a point where supplies were unsustainable. or by targeted mains replacement. Figure 1. 1. It should therefore be recognized that a realistic and consistent level of renewal of the infrastructure is an essential part of leakage strategy development. This factor is very important in leakage control. and rapid repair. 15 . and will be discussed in more detail in a subsequent section.5 Basics of Leakage Growth and Active Control Natural Leakage Growth Leakage grows with time. This is particularly relevant when mains scraping and relining is taking place. and increasing leakage is indicative of deteriorating structural condition.It should also be ensured that the same standards apply to repair materials. The modern techniques of mains replacement have substantially cut excavation and backfilling costs. that is. whereas the latter should eradicate it for a substantial period of time if done well. and to maintain supplies to customers. rapid re-charging of a system following leakage repair work can cause further damage and leakage. Passive control. ‘Find and Fix Fast’ is an appropriate axiom.3 illustrates this for a constant pressure of water. The longer a leak is left to run. Valve closures and mains re-charging work should therefore be carried out in a steady. and time to repair are the major components. thus precipitating bursts and leakage. It is essential that the renewal of service pipes is included in such work for the greatest benefit. is the minimum possible response. impact on leakage rates from those mains. the bigger the hole will get. determined detection. Pressure High pressure equals high leakage. The Size of the Hole This may seem obvious but it is very important to remember that a small increase in the size of the leak has a big effect in terms of volume leaked. A leak running for a long time can waste just as much water as catastrophic trunk main burst which is repaired quickly. Age of System The ageing process cannot be stopped. and that poor substitutes are not used for permanent repairs. if any. This may be achieved by targeted mains relining (where iron pipes are in use. The former has little. and the elimination of poor pressure and flow complaints.

and other factors. and changes in pressure. Figure 1. The scope for pressure reduction is. given that adequate supplies to customers must be maintained. leakage control must be associated with a programme of mains renewal in order to maintain the supply/demand balance. 16 . This graph is illustrative only. In an area of rising demand. a high degree of leakage control would make sense. there are two policies which may be adopted. historically. for the system as whole. needing to promote. In addition to the volume of water lost. as any slackening of effort will lead to an increase in leakage over a period of time. is a complex issue. intensive leakage control activity would be essential. improvement of mains and services is expensive and clearly. may require a mains renewal scheme.4 illustrates the growth of leakage with time. These are to adopt either a PASSIVE or an ACTIVE policy. Characteristic Growth Rate For any given area in the distribution system there will be a characteristic growth rate.5 suggests the relative percentages of leaks caused by different types of bursts. In an area which relied upon pumped supplies with high electricity costs. and have priority over an area with plentiful supplies fed by gravity. is very much a long-term strategy. Sooner or later. However. In the UK. Typically a leakage percentage of below 10 or even 15% may not be economic to pursue. Reduction in Leakage with Active Control To reduce the natural level of leakage at any pressure. limited. Reduction in pressure is also effective in reducing both the volume of leakage and its rate of growth. This characteristic growth rate will be affected by changes in the physical elements of the system. co-ordinated and implemented. the quantity of leakage which was undetectable was approximately 30 1/prop/day. it is not possible to determine the most appropriate leakage control policy in a general manner. The actual leakage level reached will depend on how quickly low pressure and flow will be experienced. leakage will increase steadily with time if nothing is done to correct it. In selecting the required leakage reduction approach. and of controlling it to an acceptable level. In other words the effect of hunting down. a programme of leakage detection must be planned. renewal of service pipes. build and commission a new source. Each area will have its own intrinsic economic leakage level. It was further suggested that of the “acceptable leakage”. such as rehabilitation of mains. such as how quickly leakage appears on the surface and is reported. Over a large enough area. identifying and repairing the leakage costs more than the value of the water saved.6 Leakage Control Strategies The Economic Balance The economic balance of searching for and repairing leakage. This shows clearly the need to maintain a consistent level of effort if the required leakage level is to be maintained. These remarks need to be heavily qualified however. a quantity equivalent to 55 l/prop/day was deemed too expensive to find and repair. It is not sufficient to put in a high level of resource for a short period. and the possible water quantity lost through them. its scarcity and marginal cost per megalitre are vital factors. and was termed “acceptable leakage”. 1. The effects of the introduction of various levels or frequencies of leakage detection are again illustrated in Figure 4. although there is some doubt whether the latter effect persists in the long term. of course. The best policy for any given system will depend on its particular characteristics.Figure 1. For instance a modern housing estate could have a serious problem with 10% leakage whilst an old area with a stubborn leakage of 30% say. Given that no two water distribution systems are identical in terms of physical or economic characteristics.

This could result in larger meter areas. Bursts are readily visible and easily repaired. It reduces operating costs (savings on electrical power and chemical treatment costs). but increases the risk of water being wasted. Capital expenditure requirements on treatment works. This relates not only to the Water Supplier’s distribution system but also to private pipework where customers are encouraged to carry out repairs on any leakage detected. The adoption of this policy minimises the day to day operating costs of leakage detection. a perfectly feasible policy to adopt. Active control would usually involve the monitoring of flows in a distribution network by using a system of permanently installed distribution meters. and hence fewer district meters. The quantity of water being put into supply is increasing at an unacceptable rate. It will also be unproductive if. Bursts are ‘invisible’ due to the strata. although this will give rise to modest maintenance costs. etc. 17 . Dangerous leakage is minimised (e. Customer perception is improved. The sources of water have limited capacity and cannot meet normal and/or foreseen demand. The costs of production are low. A well managed active leakage detection policy ensures that the cost of the leakage detection teams and the repayments of the capital necessary to establish the system is exceeded by the value of the water saved. when further action is worthwhile. It is obvious that monitoring which does not initiate further action is unproductive.‘Passive’ Control This is a procedure whereby water loss is only tackled when leakage is visible or when problems are reported from the public. is avoided. leakage detection teams being carefully directed to ensure that leakage is maintained within defined criteria (such criteria being prepared using an acceptable cost/benefit basis). providing it is ‘politically’ acceptable. Such a policy is only applicable if: The revenue costs of leakage detection are high. it is worth noting that active leakage detection in the future is likely to increasingly employ acoustic loggers. Because of their potential. and the day-to-day operating costs of leakage detection teams. It results in an ever increasing upward trend in the annual supply of water. It is applicable if: The cost of water production is high. resources are not available to proceed with location of the leakage. An active policy requires expenditure on meter installations.g. these are immediately investigated. and may be carried out with full instrumentation to allow rapid location of leaks. Limited water resources are conserved for legitimate use. and there is ample capacity to supply all foreseen demands. reservoirs and mains are reduced. and rationing etc. and hence reduces the loss of water in monetary terms. It results in an overall reduction of water demand. The following benefits should be achieved: It minimises leakage. If unexpectedly high flows of water are observed. some permanently installed. Work is planned (rather than acting in response to emergency). It is however. since leaks can remain undetected for many years until they reach such a magnitude that urgent action has to be taken due to customer complaints. freezing water on highway). ‘Active’ Control It is increasingly accepted that an active approach of searching for leakage is preferential in cost/benefit terms to a passive approach of only reacting when the situation has deteriorated.

Distribution personnel can either be organised as a specialist team.DMA’s) within a distribution system whose demands are easily monitored. The establishment of controllable. and should be regarded as a part of good distribution management. to the minimisation of dead-ends and their associated quality problems. general operational duties cannot and should not be entirely divorced from leakage control. production of reports. Everyone should be included. However. These can be collected in the two data streams of: Aggregated night-lines/’bottom up’ calculation Total integrated flow/’top down’ calculation. The organisation of leakage control personnel can vary widely. Good leakage control depends upon good and progressively improving data. A planned approach should result in lower complaint costs. system records updating. manageable areas (District Meter Areas . It introduces new valves to give better operational control. Personnel motivation. given precise briefs and targets. leakage levels will still increase. Local knowledge is essential together with an understanding of the day-to-day operation of the distribution system and demand patterns. In the very process of this setting up work. efficiency and success. computer systems support. If only the obvious leaks are repaired. specialist personnel using appropriate ‘state of the art’ equipment and techniques. and spend only part of their time on leakage control. ‘Active’ leakage control (i. and for problem solving. production of drawings. from planners to repair teams. leakages and wastages are found and repaired. as will consumer problems. it is necessary to set up specialist teams. It forces plans to be updated. Clerical support is required for computer input and administrative duties such as serving notices relating to private pipe repairs. and continuous feedback of decisions/results cannot be over-emphasized. Support can be obtained from specialist agencies/contractors. and to meet agreed monitoring/detection frequencies. Technical support is required for design and modification of district metering. good communication and synchronization of activities. or be integrated into general distribution system operational duties. finding and repairing leaks before their presence becomes obvious or generates problems) has been found to be a cost-effective method of reducing water supply deficiencies. It is generally accepted that to properly pursue active leakage control. has been found to be extremely helpful for effective leakage control and supply management. It enforces good housekeeping. The development of a long term leakage control strategy is therefore essential if water supply and distribution systems are to be effectively managed. Occasional short bursts of effort are unlikely to produce lasting results because distribution systems continue to deteriorate for one reason or another. Regard has to be given however. This is vital for understanding. 18 . Training and Data Use Leakage reduction requires a dedicated core of highly trained. building from individual DMAs and their component data up to the regional total figures for the Water Supplier. and lower repair and maintenance costs. Skilled and knowledgeable technical support is crucial if the mass of data now regularly available is to be handled and analysed to the best advantage for the leakage reduction effort. To achieve this it is necessary to establish and keep an audit trail of data. Cost/benefit analysis is important in this regard. with occasional reviews to ensure that the strategy adopted is the most appropriate one for the situation. overall performance monitoring. It locates illegal connections and identifies malfunctioning meters and public supplies.Strategy Development Leakage reduction and control is a long-term activity. Such development needs to be flexible. compilation of base data for DMAs. locating mains and buried fittings.e.

) Employ “Active” leakage detection policies using modern methods and equipment. Locate and repair obvious leakage. Maintain DMA meters. the police. where most water is leaking and where water costs are highest. by examining bulk meter flow records. Action Plan Overview The following ten points comprise key actions within a leakage policy where sustained effort is applied: 1. and the equipment used within them. Leakage often has a high profile with the public and the media. Drive down leakage towards a target value and then review target. and by interpreting recording charts on individual waste meters. Reduce pressures where possible. Relay mains and service pipes in modern non-corrodible materials (welded polyethylene preferred). 2. Provide a sound. 5. 7. On the other hand. Build consistently improving data.7 Customer Reported Leakage Reported leakage comes from the public. corroded mains and pipework. These principles remain sound.. Prompt attention to leakage queries can correct this misapprehension. 10. Customer queries relative to leakage particularly require a rapid response. 8. the converse is true – neglected leakage will discourage further reports. 4. reliable leakage information system to underpin leakage control activities. 9. loggers and boundary valves. Effect PROMPT repair of reported and detected leakage. 19 .e. Direct leakage control efforts to areas with priority of need. other utilities and public bodies. and it is sometimes mistakenly believed that leakage is a symptom of mismanagement rather than a legacy of old. Traditionally this has been achieved by the study of total demand relative to population and industry. and direction towards areas of priority leakage. the size of these areas may be determined by the leakage detection and location policy. Leakage effort needs to be directed towards the areas of greatest need i. Local contact between distribution staff and the groups who might report leakage is well worthwhile and promotes the importance and benefits of a timely response. To achieve this effectively a good information system and audit trail is essential.It is easy to dissipate effort and resources on leakage control unless the work is properly planned. 1. Reduce leakage to an economic (or ‘politically’ acceptable) minimum. (Apart from physical constraints. but the advent of the computer and data logger have provided the means for automatic information processing. This response will then encourage further reports and hence rectify more leakage in turn. 6. 3. All these parties are thus offering a valuable service which should be respected and acted upon. Sub-divide the distribution system into DMA’s and continuously monitor them for leakage control.

and trunk mains monitoring for leakage. it behoves the Water Supplier to respond quickly to reported instances on the grounds of economy. The Industry has responded well to the targets it has been set. Climate change and environmental considerations will continue to be a driving force. seeking to locate and repair leaks before they become visible Assistance given to customers in reducing leakage from their own pipework Better understanding of the water balance components and associated issues. It is unlikely that leakage will ever again become a background issue in the UK. 20 . Data quality will be expected to improve. particularly permanently installed acoustic loggers.8 Future Considerations The end of the 1990s has seen a very significant reduction of leakage in the UK. There will be more focus on ‘grey’ water re-use in order to meet rising demand without jeopardising the ability to meet demand in the future. with particular emphasis on the use of real cost/benefit data in models. Economic analysis will be a continued emphasis because cash flow will continue to be tight.Reported leakage may comprise a significant proportion of all leakage discovered (i. better assessment of legitimate night use and the effects of social changes. much of the expenditure of leakage detection is avoided and. Assistance will be sought from further technological development. the Industry will be looking for more efficient and effective methods to identify. locate and repair leaks more quickly.e. with more attention given to the dilemma of reconditioning or renewing mains. as will the encouragement for them to save water. night-flow monitoring The improved management of pressures The improvements in detection technology and techniques Greater investment in renewing the pipe network Greater active leakage control. Ways will be sought to introduce ‘competition’. possibly with telemetry. Asset life extension will remain an issue. Attention will further turn to issues concerning service pipe leakage. Though the relationship between effort. apart from the public relations benefits. 1. Customer expectations will continue to rise. Some of the contributing factors have been: • • • • • • • • The attention given to the creation of new and smaller DMAs Continuous. as the supply/demand balance comes under further scrutiny. appropriate values for water saved. Lower leakage levels will be expected to be achieved. with the balance being detected). cost and result is still not fully understood. more reliable quantification of seasonal variations in night flows. As such. and environmental and social costs. and further operating cost reductions will be expected.

then leakage could be a third more than estimated. substantial under recording will occur. The formula is also subject to other inaccuracies. For instance.Appendix to Section 1 Water Balance Method of Computing Leakage Total Integrated Flow Formula: U = S . In properties where most water is routed through a ball valve to a roof tank. the per capita consumption was usually based on studies of existing domestic meters. S will increase because A and M increase. Similarly. is a figure derived from one definition of resident population. this measure is prone to less significant errors than the total integrated flow formula. If A is not adjusted (as is quite common). Pilot studies of bulk meters in one supply area indicated that on average.(M + A x P) where U S M A P = = = = = Unaccounted for water Total volume supplied Metered use Per capita use Population supplied unmetered Each of the above terms is subject to error. The expression of U as a percentage of total consumption is rightly criticised as being misleading and unsuitable for comparisons. in a very warm spell. readings were only 80% of true flow with some recording only 60%. For the same reason. population served. A. and it implies that leakage is expected to increase in quantity as development takes place. 21 . with deductions for consumers not supplied or supplied through a meter. This is particularly true at cattle troughs or in factories with substantial periods of low demand. it will increase as a percentage of the volume supplied. whilst A x p was over-estimated by 10%. The measure of ‘net night flow per separately charged property’ as a means of assessing leakage is now commonly preferred. in an industrial recession. It is now known that small. conventional domestic meters record nothing until the flow exceeds 5 l/hour and under record any flow between 5 and 22 l/hour. Population served varies through the year. Theoretically. M and S will go down and even though U remains the same quantity. P. whilst the deductions are usually un-audited estimates. U appears to increase both in quantity and as a percentage. The provision of accurate means of measuring night flows within the distribution system is fundamental to this approach. If it were assumed that the meters associated with the terms S and M above were under-recording by only 5%. the meters of measured consumers will under record at low flows whatever the meter size. (there are several). and therefore comparisons between areas need to bear in mind their relative average night pressures. It has been argued that an error of such magnitude is quite feasible. but it is unrelated to pressure however. Large variations in unaccounted for water from year to year would indicate a certain inaccuracy associated with the use of this formula.


Leakage on trunk mains & service reservoirs TOTAL LEAKAGE MAINS LEAKAGE APPROX 1 / 2 DISTRIBUTION MAINS LEAKAGE COMMUNICATION PIPE LEAKAGE Leakage on internal private pipework PRIVATE SUPPLY PIPE LEAKAGE Total Volume Supplied Total Unaccounted for Total Leakage Total Leakage 23 .Figure 1.2 Histogram to show Assessment of the Volume of Leakage Components TOTAL VOLUME OF WATER SUPPLIED Treatment losses Losses due to fire fighting flushing etc.

Figure 1. The results are shown in this diagram.5 inch diameter lead pipe.5 inch diameter lead pipes under a pressure of 31. Experiments were carried out by Liverpool Corporation to determine the rate of loss through various sized holes in 0.6m head.4 Graph to show growth of leakage with time ‘Eruptive’ Bursts Passive leakage Complaints Level Average leakage rate (will vary between extremes dependent on detection and repair frequency) LEAKAGE Detection and repair Intrinsic leakage level (effectively the minimum for a given area without further rehabilitation or pressure reduction) Time 24 . The well-known old diagram from Liverpool Corporation tests which shows how leakage increases sharply with a small increase in hole size.Figure 1.3 Discharge in Litres/day Effect of Hole Size on Leakage 49 090 20 945 17 454 2 945 1636 Discharges through circular holes in 0.

5 Likely Proportion of Bursts/Leakage within an Ageing System Large bursts immediately obvious Bursts which gradually become obvious Small bursts-only found by detection Very small burstsimpossible or uneconomic to find and repair AVG FLOW RATE a b c d % OF ALL LEAKS TOTAL QUANTITY LOST PER BURST a b c d % OF ALL LEAKS 25 .Figure 1.

26 .

or necessary.9810 N N / m3 9810 / m_) z Any reference datum Then: Total energy = potential energy + pressure energy + velocity energy TE where = 2 p Z + w + V 2g p w is known as pressure head .1 Energy Principles Water flowing in a pipeline possesses energy in three forms: Potential energy due to elevation Velocity energy due to velocity Pressure energy due to pressure 2.2. 27 .2 Consider a position along a pipeline: pressure -pN/m2 Specific weight of Specific weight of water w N N / water== w / m_ m3 (i. Given an accurate knowledge of the pipe network.2.2 2.unit metres 2g (These factors derive from basic hydraulic theory. This particularly applies to the interpretation of flow and pressure data. 2. 2.) Total energy (TE) is expressed in metres relative to a given datum.e. It is neither efficient.e. a basic grasp of the principles of hydraulic gradients in particular is very valuable. to depend on network analysis to resolve every uncertainty presented by recorded data.1 HYDRAULICS AND NETWORK ANALYSIS FOR LEAKAGE DETECTION Introduction An understanding of basic hydraulics is essential if distribution data is to be assessed correctly. (i.2. as well as to legitimate demands and leakage. relating as it does to the internal size and condition of a pipe.unit metres V2 is known as velocity head .

(2) P1 V1 Z1 then: Z1 + P1 + V12 = Z2 + P2 + V22 w 2g w 2g This is Bernoulli’s Equation.pressure dependent on the flow varying from static pressure at no-flow to zero at ‘maximum’ flow .2. It can be expressed graphically as:TEL HGL V1 /2g 2 P2 V2 Z2 HGL V 2 /2g 2 P1 w CENTRE LINE OF PIPE P2 w Z2 Datum Z1 28 . three different regimes of pressure can be identified as acting on a pipeline: • • • 2.pressure created during no-flow conditions .caused by transient pressure waves Consider a length of pipe: Provided that a) the fluid is incompressible (as water is assumed to be) b) there are no energy losses (1) .It can be expressed graphically on a longitudinal section at a point: Total Energy V 2g P W 2 Z Datum Therefore.3 Static pressure Working pressure Surge pressure .

2. this may be near enough true. f. At times of maximum flow on the pipeline.3. i. change it and they both graphical form: Losses V1 2/2g TEL Losses HGL V22/2g P1 w CENTRE LINE OF PIPE P2 w Z1 Datum Z2 The effect is to tilt the TEL in the direction of the flow (and the same with the HGL) by an amount depending on flow. Changes in flow Restrictions in pipeline Friction losses Bursts Internal condition of pipe Pressure Reducing Valves For every part of the distribution system.3 Losses in entry to pipe.1. there will be a level below which the pressure must not be permitted to drop if an adequate and efficient water supply is to be provided. e. Z1 + P1 + V12 = Z2 + P2 + V22 + w 2g w 2g .1 Head Loss in Pipelines Bernoulli’s Equation in the form: Z1 + P1 + V12 = Z2 + P2 + V22 w 2g w 2g assumes no loss of energy.2 Consider the pipe reservoir and pipeline described in Figure 2. 2. d. The minimum pressure must be considered when the system is designed or extended.3. in general we need to modify the formula to take losses into account. A number of factors are responsible for the loss of head in the pipeline: a.Where TEL is the Total Energy Line HGL is the Hydraulic Gradient NB. roughness and pipe fittings. The difference in level between the bottom water 29 . what will be the resulting pressure at properties ‘A’ and ‘B’? The actual pressure will be the STATIC PRESSURE less the HEAD LOSS at each property.3 2. b.3. 2. c.e. g. TEL and HGL are unique to a particular flow in the pipe. Although for very short smooth pipes.

Figure 2.level in the service reservoir. W i. Connections above HGL lead to back syphonage and contamination risks. 2. the flow may be turbulent. 2. Suction pressures may draw in contamination through hydrants. if there was such a tube connected. applicable only to clean water. slime free at normal temperatures. force the fluid up it to a height of ‘h’ metres (which equals P ). and minimum pressure point. The hydraulic gradient can indicate points within a pipeline system where pressure reduction or system boosting will be required.3 gives an example of this theory. must at no time be exceeded by the loss of head in the mains from the reservoir due to friction and other causes. is in theory 10 metres for water. In pipes used for water distribution.4.4. In practice it is about 7 metres.4 2. 2. The friction head loss ‘H’ between two points can be calculated using the Hazen-Williams equation or similar types of formula. which depends in part upon the velocity in the pipe and its diameter. leaks and air valves. If the flow ‘Q’ increases. See Figure 2.4. pressures are positive. Therefore the practice is to be avoided.2 The Hydraulic Gradient of a pipeline is the gradient of a line joining the fluid levels measured at vertical intervals along the pipe At a particular constant flow ‘Q’. pressures are negative (i. but: i) ii) iii) iv) Properties above the HGL at a particular flow cannot be supplied.1 The Hydraulic Gradient The pressure head in a pipeline at a point = P W Where P W = = pressure N/m2 specific weight of fluid This expression is the same as that for the pressure at the bottom of a column of fluid ‘h’ metres high.5 Pipe Flow Formulae These flow formula are based on observation and experiment. there will be an increase in the friction losses and the hydraulic gradient line will steepen. 30 . The maximum suction lift of a pump.e. water would rise to the height of the hydraulic gradient.3 Where the HGL runs above the pipe. and not on theory. suction pressures). They are. or the greatest syphonic head. The friction factor depends upon the roughness of the pipe and also the Reynolds Number. Where it runs below. Therefore the pressure in the main would.2. it is the line showing the pressure in the pipeline between two points.e. Suction pressures may disrupt poorly made joints. in general. Water Mains can run above the HGL providing this height does not exceed about 7 metres. 2.

= Diameter in mm = Constant Maximum Average Minimum = Velocity in m/sec 150 100 60 2. = Length in ft.5. but there are others. and is easy to use. Imperial Units V = 1. = Velocity ft/s.63 (H)0. = Flow in galls/min.87 x C1.85 H L Q C D V = Head loss in ft. = Constant (expression of roughness) = Diameter in ins. Lamont’s smooth pipe formula has been developed. including Colebrook-White. which is sometimes used for network analysis modelling.87 x C1.2 Lamont Formula For hydraulically smooth pipes for both mains and services.318C (D)0.623 x L D4.5645 (L) 31 . has fairly reliable values for co-efficients.85 where R = 14. 2. It is intended for use with new pipes carrying clean slime-free water at normal temperatures (55ºF). Two are described below.6935 (H) 0. Metric Units H = RQ1.5d0.85 where R = 11. V = 95.1 Hazen-Williams This formula is often used in the design of water distribution systems. Various pipe flow formulae are available to determine head losses in relation to velocity in pipes.5.9 x L x l09 D4.54 (4) (L) This can be arranged to: H = RQ1.Therefore a pipe flow formula should have a roughness coefficient which varies with velocity and pipe size.85 H L Q D C V = Head loss in metres = Length in metres = Flow in litres/sec. It is based on well-documented records of experiments on the pipes ordinarily used in distribution practice.

With the development in recent years of computer hardware and software. the flows and head losses are considered at only a single given set of demand conditions. slime-free water at normal temperatures. This is done by comparing the results from the model with huge amounts of data from field tests.7. 2. and are made up of a number of components: a) b) c) Domestic demand Metered industrial/commercial demand.allowing one to access hydraulic data as well as the position of the mains in the ground.7 2. a Pipe-Friction Diagram is also available for solutions using Lamont’s smooth-pipe formula.In a snapshot analysis. valves.7. This is frequently expressed as a single time interval. 2.7. and all the various control features. It will have been calibrated by the model builders to ensure that. within reason. with their operating constraints and regimes.6 Pipe Friction Diagrams The Hazen-Williams formula may be applied to all types of pipe. Two types of analysis are normally used: Snapshot . and is the sort of analysis that is now most commonly used. Unaccounted for water including leakage. It is essential to know the system of 32 . Due to the complexity of most distribution systems. with careful selection of the value of the constant C.In each dynamic analysis the flows and head losses are considered for a series of varying demand conditions. Dynamic or Extended Time . 2.2 Type of Analysis This is the process of calculating the flows and head losses in a network for a given set of demand conditions. The demands and demand patterns on a network are also vital ingredients. a Pipe-Friction Diagram is also available. The chart is for use with new pipes carrying clean.3 Model Construction A network model is basically an intelligent mains record drawing . For rapid solution of the formula. booster pumps and service reservoirs forming the water distribution system. With the increasing use of hydraulically smooth pipes for distribution and trunk mains. the model gives the same flows and pressures as the real system. it was normal to simplify the system by considering only the key mains. This is frequently a 24 hour time period. A network is the collection of pipes. A model represents everything we know about a particular distribution system. it is now possible to include all reservoirs and mains in a distribution system.1 Network Analysis Introduction Network analysis is the term used to describe the ‘analysis of water flows and head losses in a pressurised distribution system under a given set of demand conditions on the system’. from available tables.V D H L = Average velocity of flow ft/sec = Diameter in ft = Head loss in ft = Length in ft 2. The power and speed of computing for network analysis continues to improve.

or to alter distribution areas. It can be used to check on rehabilitation problems – re-line. The model could help maximise the utilisation of low cost supplies.4 Network Balance If there is a disagreement between the computed flows and the measured flows. but they are the only tool available to provide such detailed hydraulic information. perhaps to see how long the reservoir storage will last. They can also be used to tell us how different source waters blend in the system at different times of the day.7. minimise the cost of pumping.e the day chosen as the most ‘typical’ from the field test. The process of model building can thus uncover many problems which may go unnoticed until a burst occurs. The more common are listed below: • • • • • • • • Incorrect estimates for model demands Incorrect assumptions for hydraulic resistances Wrong pipe lengths or diameters Unsuspected network cross-connection Closed valves/opened valves By-passes around PRV or meters Restrictions in mains Pressure measurement on ‘rider’ main. a number of factors can be involved. It could also ensure that levels of service are achieved at customer taps by identifying areas of inadequate or excessive pressures. Network models can already tell us how old the water is throughout a system and how that changes during the day. It might be used for planning a trunk main shut-off.configuration on the calibration day . 33 . Once a model exists. The calibration process will find any significant problems with the model’s representation of the distribution system.i.7.5 Model Application Network analysis is a powerful tool for the effective management of distribution systems. the model builder converts the demands on the model to average demands by comparing the demands for that area with the test day 2. 2. A lot of money can be saved on capital schemes by using models to find out what size mains are really needed. Large leaks cause a lowering of pressures. and areas of high leakage. As the techniques improve it will also be used to investigate water quality problems. Network models are not perfect. It can also be used to design pressure reduction. so that levels of service are not affected somewhere else. To calibrate a model it is necessary to get the pressures right within one metre at virtually all points in the system at all times of day. or to sometimes find ways of not laying new mains at all. corrective measures could then be simulated. renew or up-size. and help improve levels of service. All these might point to problem areas and show the results on water quality of system changes. but not all of them. perhaps miles away. These could be such things as checking what reinforcements are needed to supply a new development. and in pumped distribution systems. often wasting time and money. Once the model is created it has to be converted to what is known as an Average Day Model. To do this. it allows any user to experiment with system changes before they are tried out on the ground. Network models give us a better picture of the system operation. with effects over wide areas. Network models may be useful in locating large leaks by comparing modelled pressures against actual. In the past we often had to guess about the behaviour of complex systems.

What will be the maximum pressure at property ‘A’ at BWL at average flow? 2. What will be the maximum pressure at property ‘C’ at TWL at average flow? 500m 250m 34 .Figure 2.1 Service Reservoir and Pipeline TWL 4m BWL 70m 30m C 20m B A 1000m 1.

.O.D ORDNANCE DATUM Longitudinal Section of Pipeline The Hydraulic Gradient is obtained by plotting the sum of the Static Head and the Pressure Head.2 Hydraulic Gradient of a pipeline PIPELINE HAS DIA d metres FRICTION COEFF . 35 The Hydraulic Gradient shows the level to which the liquid in the pipe would rise if a vertical stand pipe was inserted in the pipeline at the point under construction. C LENGTH OF PIPELINE = L B FRICTION HEAD LOSS H THRO’ PIPELINE BETWEEN FLOW Q THRO’ PIPELINE A A B (Can be calculated from Hazen-Williams equation) GROUND LEVEL WATER PRESSURE AT THIS POINT IN PIPELINE FLOW Q INVERT LEVEL OF PIPELINE LEVEL OF PIPELINE A.Figure 2.

3. 36 Distribution pressures will be less than Pmax (at lowest ground level) due to frictional losses in mains. fittings etc. 4. Mains at point C will need boosting. . Pressure at point B must satisfy Level of Service criteria.Figure 2.A.D NOTES 1.3 Hydraulic Gradient RESERVOIR P HYD RA ULI CG R ADI ENT Pmax GROUND LEVEL P P B C A DATUM POINT . 2.O. Reduce pressure in the valley bottom (point A) to reduce leakage.

DMAs in the UK are generally between 1000 and 5000 properties in size. and closer control of labour.2. each meter recording flows into a discrete district which has a defined and permanent boundary. In general. The shape.3. or zones. All these requirements need a geographic reference framework of a manageable size. Customers may receive water of variable quality and taste. which can often result in additional complaints. composition and arrangement of the distribution system is dictated as much by the local history.1 District Meter Areas Establishment and Design Distribution management is an important activity which has considerable impact on customers. If uncontrolled. maintaining security of supplies and maximising the return on investment in the assets. In practice zoning takes place at several levels. The costs of distribution operations are high.2 3. District Meter Areas are the basic building blocks of a zoned distribution system. controlling leakage. Ideally this should be a single metered input. taste and odour. It is therefore vital that management decisions are taken in a framework of knowledge and understanding of how the system operates. will be excessive in some areas. 5000-10000 properties. The alternative approach is one in which the distribution system is separated into manageable units. topography and Town and Country Planning as by good hydraulic design. measured inputs and outputs. In addition there is a need to respond to and solve customer complaints of poor or no supply. updated and more comprehensive records. They provide a manageable unit by which the distribution customer and performance information can be linked to other activities and data systems. 3. water will mix in an unpredictable fashion. In short. The techniques of active leakage monitoring require the installation of flow meters at strategic points throughout the distribution system. the incremental growth and integration of local supply areas leads to an ‘open’ distribution system in which it may be very difficult to meet the performance requirements. public relations and aesthetic needs. Distribution management is required to meet these standards while minimising pumping costs. and they have similar topography with limited head loss within their area. designed around reservoir zones or bulk meter areas. the size of zone should depend on the monitoring requirement and the follow-up leak detection technique being employed. This planned approach inevitably leads to better understanding and control of the distribution system. DISTRICT METER AREA MANAGEMENT 3. Others. discolouration. noise and so on. pressures will vary. Their fundamental characteristic is that their boundaries are closed except for defined. Such an approach helps to ensure that distribution managers can meet the primary objectives to the maximum benefit of the customer and the Water Supplier.1 Distribution Network Structure A wide range of performance standards and regulations apply to the operation of a distribution network. but this is not always achievable in practice. This ensures that pressures throughout the DMA are 37 . water quality standards. customer standards. each of which has definable characteristics which can be monitored and maintained. In open systems. <500-1000 properties. fewer consumer complaints. Typical district size currently in the UK varies between 1000 and 5000 properties. although some districts designed around old ‘waste zones’ are smaller. more efficient and informed management. These include statutory requirements. are larger. and costs will escalate. The development of DMAs as part of a structured operation of the distribution system allows the network to be operated in a planned way.

System record plans are required. In practice. These problems are often discovered when the DMA is first modelled and anomalies in the model are investigated. The simple checklist below can be used to ensure that all of these activities are performed before a DMA is commissioned. Larger areas are possible from a detection point of view if acoustic logging is part of the detection policy employed. to avoid districts with high outflows (this leads to inaccuracy in calculation of district demand as any changes in demand will be a small proportion of the total flow measured).. or ‘OXO’. or closed valves. The installation of flow meters at all inlets and outlets. the design should be checked using Network Analysis to ensure that pressures are sustained at all likely demands. Unforeseen difficulties may be found.even. iv. such as buried.larger areas usually means less ‘dead ends’. The principles of DMA design and structure are very simple. District Meter Area Design 1000-5000 properties Minimum number of boundary valves Preferably single inlet meter Avoid export meters if possible Beware of low pressure (on peak demand) Beware of quality problems at stop-ends Avoid l50 mm mechanical (Helix) meters (1 rev = 1000 litres) Typically downsize mechanical meters (not necessary for electromagnetic) Install mechanical meters on a bypass Fit ‘out-reader’ chamber for logger if meter access problems 38 . to define the boundaries of each DMA. and allows pressure and leakage to be managed most effectively. ii. The installation of flushing. together with the local system operator’s knowledge. that no unnecessarily long water retention periods are created and that water quality variations are within an acceptable range . This information is used. the DMA can be fully established. canals and major roads). This will require: i. It will be necessary to ensure that all stop (stand shut. it will normally be necessary to trial the area in practice. records and related information systems. thereby reducing the number of meters used and the number of closed valves (which can lead to water quality problems). preferably at a scale of 1:2500. Other important considerations in this process are as: i) to cross the fewest number of distribution mains (helped by using natural boundaries such as railway lines. ii) Having defined the limits of a DMA. Once satisfactorily piloted. The closing and marking of all boundary valves. together with property count data. The updating of plans. DMAs often have to be checked very carefully during establishment. points. or even unknown pipes. and that satisfactory flows and pressures are maintained throughout the DMA. Nevertheless. iii. where possible. boundary) valves perform correctly.

Leakage control Pressure management and levels of service. the opening of a single boundary stop valve is sufficient to destroy the accuracy of DMA demand monitoring. For two adjacent DMAs. should be repaired promptly DMA meters should not be valved out DMA meters and loggers should be operating normally PRV areas should be properly isolated and operating Poor quality mains should be fed forward into the capital programme as candidates for renewal Plans should be up to date and show new property. it is necessary to establish the number of domestic properties.2. This requires regular. 3. 2. The monitoring and maintenance of water quality The planning and programming of repair and maintenance work.g. demand. usually weekly. 3. quality. long-term cost to the Water Supplier. and the demand of major industrial users within each DMA. For leakage control purposes. Perhaps the most important benefit of DMAs is a little less tangible. they provide a better knowledge of how the system works and how water gets to the customers in an appropriate condition. all at a lower. flow reversals and retention times can be minimised and more consistent pressures established. Simple management procedures must be introduced to ensure that the integrity of the DMA is maintained. The following details are worth noting for effective management: • • • • • • • • • • • • All boundary valves should be kept tight closed and a regular checking programme should be followed All boundary valves should be clearly marked and identified Valves within the DMA should be fully open Status quo should be re-established after bursts. rehabilitation or other operational necessity High pressure DMAs should be examined for pressure reduction Logger readings of low pressure should be investigated to determine whether leakage is indicated.3. The results of this monitoring allow management action to be prioritised and targeted on where it is most cost effective. Careful inspection of the meter and logger readings can quickly spot any unusual results. Specifically DMA’s impact on: 1. 5. preferably with the input of the information into a computer analysis programme. 39 . This results in a better knowledge of the system. Asset maintenance and renewal. reading of DMA meters and loggers. cost) of a well defined area of the distribution system can be closely monitored.2. boundary valve checks. Leakage within the DMA. better and more consistent service to customers. This can be used to trigger leak detection follow-up work.2 Operation and Maintenance Once established.3 Benefits of DMAs The principal benefit of DMAs is that the key characteristics (e. This allows the Water Supplier to focus attention on those activities which produce most benefits to customers – a pro-active rather than a reactive approach. 4. A regular regime of meter readings. For example. improved demand management. and pressure monitoring must therefore be established for each DMA. whether visible or not showing. DMAs need to be maintained. otherwise the cost and effort of establishment and monitoring will be wasted. Together with a zoned approach to distribution management.

Historic DMA characteristics or activities (e. the valves are left in the open position. ii) Levels of Service Levels of service registers can be compiled by DMA. A link to a quality information system would ensure that statutory sampling and reporting requirements can be met.g. otherwise the information obtained is misleading or useless. Water quality may suffer because of the creation of closed systems. a burst main) may help understand and explain the customer’s problem. In some cases. The installation of flushing points and programmes can overcome this problem at a cost. as these are only temporary. and recorded with address and problem information.4 Links to Other Data Information Systems DMAs are the common link between distribution and other activities. particularly in areas with unlined mains. The design of the areas is similar in principle to that of DMAs.3. 3. but their boundaries are not permanent. particularly the sources from which water is normally supplied. For example: i) C u s t o m e r Service Customer calls which require a visit or follow-up job can be logged by the DMA in which the customer lives. peak demands. some DMAs are occasionally subdivided into waste meter areas (WMAs) by closing defined valves and measuring flows using portable or fixed waste meters. although there is not the same constraint on boundary valve closures. do have some disadvantages which must be considered and minimised: • Less robust under failure conditions. can be identified and programmed on a DMA basis.3 Waste Meter Areas For the purpose of leakage monitoring and investigation. iii) Wa t e r Q u a l i t y Water quality zones are aggregates of DMAs. 40 . accumulate debris resulting in discolouration or even blockages. DMAs. Remedial work. Open systems automatically compensate (up to a point) for changes in demand patterns. and that managers are aware of quality variations and problems. Work scheduling and planning procedures allow appointments and repairs to be programmed by DMA to improve efficiency.2. Sampling and reporting programmes can be built up using DMA information and characteristics. Not only are meters and data loggers required. A substantial commitment is required from management and workforce. It is vital that valves are checked and meters read regularly. A better long-term solution is to improve treatment works and mains to improve water quality. These may. This too has a cost. but new and replacement valves may be needed. The costs of establishment can be considerable. which has to be accepted and budgeted for. Some of this may be considered to be operational ‘good housekeeping’. on the other hand need to be managed to allow for mains improvement. These waste meter areas are similar to small DMAs. whether operational or capital. when the leakage work is completed. fresh tracing and mapping of the system may be necessary.4 Disadvantages of DMAs DMAs and zoned systems. loss of supply etc. • • • 3. Certainly the number of deadends can increase considerably when DMAs are introduced. in general.

3. In the interim period it will be necessary to calculate the ‘norm’ based on the number of properties and an appropriate allowance per property.1 Commissioning General For both waste and district meter areas. and clearly marked on site. it may take considerable time to achieve a complete leakage survey of each area. and to aid the solving of any problems which are subsequently encountered.2 Establishment of ‘Norms’ As soon as possible after commissioning the area should be surveyed throughout for leakage.5 3.5. 41 . and all leaks quickly repaired.5.1. together with the meter flows. Once it has been established that the area is functioning satisfactorily. 3. A typical demand pattern is shown in Figure 3. on fitting the meter the area can be commissioned by closing the boundary valves. Measurement of the minimum night flow should then take place to establish the ‘norm’ for the area. Depending on the resources and technology available. against which subsequent readings can be judged. It is preferable to data log the meter flows during commissioning to confirm the range of design flows. and any increase in complaints should be noted. Pressures at critical points should be monitored. the boundary valves should be recorded on the system record drawings.

1 Demand Patterns in a Typical Area Peak Demand Legitim ate Water Usage Night Line Leakage flows Continuously 6 a. Noon 6 p.m. Midnight 6 a. 42 .m.Figure 3.m.

Zones are too large to identify small leakages.000 and 50. a second cycle of readings would be taken to confirm the result before further action was taken. as any leaks which are not obvious will be swamped by the normal daily variations in consumption. it is of no use for leakage detection. District metering may be considered as the first level of metering which can be used for leakage detection.1.2 4.2 Zones Zone metering breaks down a large supply area into several zones.3 Districts Within each zone. it was not possible to differentiate between increases in leakage and increases in metered consumption. including the effect of any increase or decrease in storage.4. 4. or for collecting together data for parts of this system with similar characteristics such as unit cost. Normally.1.2. 43 ii) iii) iv) . Zone metering may also be useful for comparing the performance of different leakage control teams. A significant increase in demand. the time taken to identify the leakage and initiate further action would be two reading intervals. However. there will be several district meter areas (DMAs) ranging in size typically from 1000 to 5000 properties.1 District Metering Original Concept The original concept of district metering was to measure the total volume entering the DMA between the reading intervals. especially if daily readings are collected. normally at least 10%.1. as again these will be swamped by normal daily variations.5 Mld. this would typically mean a population range of 2500 to 12500 and a daily demand ranging from 0. This would then be compared to previous readings.000 properties. they could possibly identify major leakage.7 to 3. This procedure suffered from a number of disadvantages: i) it was insensitive as leakage would not be identified until it exceeded a significant proportion of the daily demand. in order to give an accurate daily figure for demand. Again all inflows and outflows are measured continuously. and hence to calculate the average daily demand.1. typically varying between 20. there are different levels of metering as shown in Figure 4. age. 4. Metering at this level is essential to judge overall performance as it includes all possible sources of leakage. 4. In the UK. However.1 METERING FOR LEAKAGE DETECTION Hierarchy of Metered Areas In common practice. and very much a matter of judgement and experience. 4. and all imports and exports crossing the boundaries. not generally reflected across the system.1 Supply Areas Metering of a supply area will comprise metering of all source works outputs. would signify a likely increase in leakage. 4. the previous two levels being used for performance assessment and monitoring rather than detection. except for very large consumers whose meters may have been read as district meters. and also to the readings for all other DMAs for that period to assess climatic effects. elimination of climatic factors and holiday effects was difficult. urban/rural character.

they are run only when the district meters indicate a significant level of leakage. and centralised interrogation of intelligent data loggers at meters. When used on its own. Unlike the methods of metering previously mentioned. The equipment and economics associated with data collection are changing. The area covered is normally in the range 500 to 4000 properties. district meters are now usually fitted with data loggers which will record. when used with district metering. Some Water Suppliers are beginning to move in favour of automated. in addition to the total flow. it may not be economic for all these meters to be on telemetry. waste metering is not run continuously. This immediately achieves a better than five fold improvement in the sensitivity of the method in the original concept. as any increase in metered use is less likely to take place at night. a single DMA may be divided into several WMAs. the night flow over a specified period for a number of nights.4. The time taken to identify leakage is reduced to one reading interval as the night flow readings will confirm the leakage.2. the waste meters are run at a set frequency.4 Recent Metering Improvements The chart below indicates the improvements in flow range that have taken place alongside the evolution of data loggers. 4. and now more usually in the UK. because they hold out the possibility of reduced installation and maintenance costs. sometimes using the same meter revalved into different areas. 44 . The frequency of data collection and analysis may itself be limited by the amount of resources which can be economically justified to undertake this activity. These meters are becoming more competitive for ordinary use. as night flows will normally be less than 20% of the average daily flow and will suffer less variation due to demand. Waste meters are used specifically to record the minimum night flow rate. unless it occurred at the end of the period. although care may be needed on occasions when garden sprinklers may be left on overnight. The waste meter area (WMA) is specially valved in for the purposes of the test so that it is supplied solely by the waste meter. Logger manufacturers usually provide powerful software to analyse and manipulate recorded data. it would be termed ‘combined metering’. If it is judged that action is required. The effect of climatic variation is significantly reduced. Where used in combination with district metering. However. remote. in which case data must be collected by site visit. Differentiation between leakage and metered use is easier.3 Waste Metering This is the fourth and final level of metering. In conjunction with district metering. These improvements now enable one meter to read minimum night flows and maximum daily flows with an accuracy that facilitates leakage monitoring and detection. This can be varied with the leakage growth characteristics of the area. A waste meter measures the total flow into a waste area. waste meters can be used to perform step tests to further locate the leakage within a still smaller area. this measurement being used to judge whether there is significant level of leakage by comparison with previous readings or WMA ‘norms’. monitoring pressure as well as flow. Even greater accuracy can be achieved by using electromagnetic meters which can now be obtained at smaller sizes. Alternatively. 4.2 Data Collection Due to the large numbers of meters likely to be involved. particularly at weekends. Waste metering is now rarely be used on its own in the UK.

but provision for the extra head loss and cleaning maintenance is needed.47 140 2. and often the district meters themselves can be used to perform step tests. There are ways of minimising the consequences of a breakdown by proper design such as providing: 45 . Previously. If a mechanical flowmeter breaks down it may need to be removed from the pipeline in which it is installed.21 283 0. Information on the other Utilities’ apparatus should also be obtained at this stage to avoid subsequent problems during excavation. A site survey is necessary to check the location of the main and other physical obstructions or limitations.1 Meter Installation Design Mechanical Meters Mechanical DMA meters should normally be sited on a bypass main which provides the necessary upstream/downstream lengths of straight pipe to avoid flow disturbance. 4.50 209 1.14 170 1. The criteria should be based on the ability to maintain supplies when a particular meter is shut out.80 600 100 150 These relatively recent technological advances have reduced the distinction between district and waste metering. Location of the meter in either footpath or verge is preferable because of safety and accessibility. Meter chambers should be fitted with vandal resistant lids. the next step is to select the meter site.14 181 0. or on the availability of alternate supplies.21 64 0.48 640 0. an electromagnetic flowmeter requires a mains power supply. waste meters were far more sensitive at identifying leakage than district meters. Thus. Dependent upon the type chosen. However. the benefits of combined metering (District Meters plus Waste Meters) can be achieved at less capital cost in real terms than was previously the case. and this off-set the reduced monitoring frequency. in DMAs supplied by several meters.41 568 0.75 86 4.23 46 0.15 46 0.59 284 3.50 55 2. but otherwise a site should be chosen on the pipeline such that access is practicable under all circumstances for meter reading and for repair and maintenance.45 90 0.5 Meter Site Selection Having defined the boundaries.60 250 1. 4. A site may already be committed where an existing district meter is installed. the breakdown may prevent fluid passing through the faulty meter. bypasses may not be cost-effective.M e t e r Size Meter Type mm 80 Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum M i n i m u m a n d M a x i m u m F l o w R a t e s i n m 3/ h r Deacon Kent Gate Kent IM Kent 3000 Kent 4000 Electro magnetic 0.6 4. and hence those mains in which the flow must be measured. Strainers are sometimes needed upstream of mechanical meters in dirty water areas to prevent meter blockage.6. Depending on the meter type. DMA’s are now as sensitive as WMA’s in identifying leakage.23 46 0.50 200 0.

it is unnecessary to have a bypass arrangement.7 4.• • • • • • • Isolating valves either side of the meter. though valves on either side are advantageous. recording peak demand to the area supplemented by backflow from the reservoir. the demand in the early hours of the morning might be very low indeed. not all the above precautions for mechanical meters may be deemed necessary. that because of the maintenance-free nature of these meters. or the provision of access for the retrospective fitting of ‘clamp on’ ultrasonic flowmeters.2 Electromagnetic Flowmeters It can be argued. 4. Verification of the calibration of electromagnetic meters can be very straightforward.1 Meter Selection Criteria General Criteria The type of meter which can be considered will depend on the type. This can result in significant cost savings. which may be believed or disbelieved depending on the shrewdness and experience of the observer. in the absence of substantial leakage. More significantly. and offsets the higher costs of the meter compared to the mechanical type. The other extreme would be a meter reading the daily demand with no storage on the system when. if the district is a separate supply area with its own service reservoir or water tower storage. 46 . size and configuration of the district. during the normal working day. providing much lower flow for use whilst at the same time replenishing the reservoir for the next day. with the sensor cabled back to a transmitter/display unit sited in a convenient location. with no need to gain access to the pipe. The need for re-calibration of good electromagnetic meters is a rarity. Air bleeds to facilitate filling the meter when it has been replaced. sensor and interconnecting cables). For instance. This may be done by the temporary installation of a ‘master meter’ in a specially provided bypass loop incorporating isolation and bleed valves. or alternatively by the provision of connections for insertion meters. The meter. Nevertheless. The meter can be buried. Depending on the type of installation. will run forever and will perform according to its original calibration into perpetuity. they can be installed without a chamber altogether. it is too often assumed that a flowmeter. but in most cases continue to give a readout. This is certainly not true! Mechanical flowmeters after periods of use do not retain their original calibration. Ease of removal of the meter from the pipe.7. transmitter. A drain valve to empty the meter. They do not need an upstream strainer.6.e. and at night. A bypass loop to allow flow to continue during repair. 4. once installed. Free draining meter pit Ease of access to the meter. and are suitable for installation in meter pits which become flooded. Means should be provided to make the checking of flowrate at regular intervals a routine part of checking the plant efficiency. A meter on the reservoir inflow/outflow is also required. the incoming meter flow is likely to be continuous at a fairly uniform rate. one manufacturer claiming it takes less than half an hour to evaluate the status of the complete system (i.

Removing a section of pipe for inspection may be more valuable where there is concern. The method chosen will depend on the size of the main and the dimensions of the proposed meter chamber. For this reason. iii. in the past.e. a flow survey must be carried out. ii. The condition may be known from previous records if recent repairs or alterations have been carried out. In order to specify a meter for new installations it is necessary to establish: i. 4. but it is worth considering mains power supply if it is readily and cheaply available. It is practicable to examine the inside of the pipe with an endoscope but this may only be worthwhile if serious doubts about the internal conditions exist. and to give an indication of the flows at the proposed district metering points. The average flow (m3/day) calculated from the periodic volume divided by the number of days. It is practicable to do this in a workshop with testing facilities. a district meter is usually situated where it is remote from a normal working base.In the latter case the prime considerations would be to choose a meter sensitive enough to record very low rates of flow. In general the average flow and most (60%) of the volume should be measured between Qt and Qnom. Meters should be selected to ensure that at least 95% of the flow is above Qt and preferably below Qmax. All these requirements can be met by a battery. which otherwise would be unmeasured. not by diameter. Given 47 . these meters have almost always. been of helical vane mechanical type. remote read-out and integration. to check the effect of the flows at the proposed valve closures. If the existing flow information is inadequate. in the roadway). All DMA meters should have the capability of electronic adaptation to provide logging.2 General Specification All meters specified should conform to the following basic characteristics: i. either actual or assessed. District meters of the size likely to be encountered (less than 300 mm. The minimum flow. This can be done either by the use of an insertion flow meter. Will be capable of providing a pulsed output to an agreed standard specification which will be available without disturbing certification seals.7. The use of network analysis to identity current problems. possibly difficult for access (i.3 Types of District Meter In theory. Larger meters will be maintainable in situ by the removal and replacement of the measuring elements. ii. 4.5% accuracy. Meters should be selected to measure at least 95% of flow at + 2. The internal condition of the pipeline may be a significant factor in the selection of a suitable meter. or on site with the discharge from the pipe beyond the meter being registered through a calibrated check meter. a wide variety of meters may appear to be suitable for use as district meters. is desirable but not essential. or by installing a full bore meter which can subsequently be changed if found to be incorrectly sized. The maximum flow required. Will be specified by flow (Qn). and usually uni-directional) are somewhat easier to calibrate than larger meters. and usually without a supply of electricity. class and type. but by definition.7. iii.

and in this situation the use of a retrofit ‘time of flight’ ultrasonics meter. This rotation is proportional to the rate of flow.that the environmental conditions are suitable and that these meters can be maintained adequately.8. mechanical meters may not be suitable. again with the potential to damage seals and bearings.The mechanical flow transducer should be installed in process pipework which is free of vibration.Mechanical flow meters in liquid service should operate with sufficient head to prevent cavitation and avoid the resulting errors or damage. by damaging bearings and seals. In exceptional circumstances. If a power supply is unavailable. due to reverse flow characteristics or the presence of suspended matter. Occasionally however.8. 48 . Electromagnetic flow meters are a viable alternative to the helical vane type.2 Operational Requirements Location . During mains rehabilitation in particular. or an insertion-type point velocity probe. O p e r a t i n g H e a d . but has the disadvantage of moving mechanical parts which will wear. If the condition in the distribution system is not gritty and the water is clear and free of suspended matter. Grit and particulate in the line can cause deterioration in performance. particularly at the lower end of their range. I n s t a l l a t i o n P r a c t i c e . also a feature of mains rehabilitation. Water flow directed evenly onto these vanes will cause rotation which is transmitted to the undergear of the meter register by means of a ceramic magnetic coupling. low capital cost and ease of maintenance.Helix (Woltmann) Description Inherently only suitable for water metering applications. Electrical transmission of this information is normally achieved by a suitably positioned magnetic reed-switch actuated by a rotating magnet in the meter register. they are ideally suited to district meter use. it may be impracticable to shut down the supply. Mechanical meters should be installed so that they have a positive head of liquid upstream. the helical vane type of meter is cheap and accurate over wide ranging flows and provides an easy and cheap solution to district metering. abrasive material can be passed through the meter . At present. and require virtually no maintenance.2 should be adopted. they can be supplied to operate from a long life disposable battery. can cause these meters to over-speed. and necessitating regular maintenance/ repair. This type of meter has now had many years of use and development in the water industry and has the advantages of requiring no power. Provision must be made for a routine battery replacement. but at reduced accuracy. particularly in water distribution networks. and assuming continuous full use. In this type of meter. battery life is about three years. the measuring element takes the form of a helical vane mounted centrally in a measuring chamber with its axis along the direction of flow. The passage of air. properly calibrated for the local conditions. This head should be equivalent to at least twice the anticipated pressure drop through the meter. Often the bore of the pipework will be a size less then that of adjacent pipework. If so. resulting in degraded low flow performance. The vane consists of a hollow cylinder with accurately formed wings. would provide an alternative. because of the low flow characteristics. the pipeline configuration shown in Figure 4. meters in this category are most numerous.8 4. 4. 4.1 Mechanical Meters .Accuracy and repeatability of mechanical meters is especially dependent upon upstream and downstream piping arrangements.

As the pipe is full at the point of measurement. a bypass must be provided to permit process operation while the meter is being changed. Some of the conditions which may necessitate disassembly of the meter are (a) damage caused by foreign material. consideration should be given to making provision for a temporary bypass. The meter should also be installed horizontally. It should be noted that helical vane meter internals can be removed without taking the meter out of line. In this application. neither long runs of pipe (up or downstream) nor flow straighteners are needed unless percent of rate of accuracy is required. velocity and flow rate are directly related.9. However.The need for bypass piping is determined by the application. (b) wear.3 Maintenance Considerations C l e a n i n g a n d P u r g i n g . the meter should be in the main run and the bypass should be line size and placed at least 10 diameters upstream and 5 diameters downstream of the meter. they should be cleaned after flushing. If bypassed. which necessitates the provision of a mains power supply. an EMF is induced whose amplitude is dependent on the force of the magnetic field. 4. 4. Operational flow range of more than 1000:1 Since this type of meter tends to average the velocity profile between the electrodes. In continuous service applications. with a valve in between. and with a ‘pulse unit’ attachment for data logger purposes. It may be necessary to isolate and disassemble the flowmeter for maintenance purposes.Accuracy of the magnetic flowmeter is typically + 0. and is inherently maintenance free. This would involve the insertion of two hydrants either side of the meter.9 4. associated with interfering voltage pick-up. If a conventional bypass arrangement is impractical. although this is not required with some types of logger. as performance characteristics are different for forward and reverse flow. this situation has now been resolved with the development of new technology.Care should be exercised in the installation of flanged meters to see that the pipeline gaskets do not interfere with the flow pattern by protruding into the flow stream. and the meter fitted with the direction of flow arrow correct. and periodically during operation. In areas with a history of dirty water problems. giving the advantage of negligible pressure drop.5 % of full scale although + 0. If strainers are used.5 % of actual flowrate is available from some manufacturers. The meter is effectively non-intrusive. The initial disadvantages of this type of system. the conductor is the liquid being metered and it is the fluid velocity that is being measured. Bypass Piping . high power assumption and ‘zero drift’. have now been largely overcome. or (c) solids build-up. F e a t u res .1 Electromagnetic Flowmeters Description The basic principle of operation of this type of flowmeter is based on Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction which states that if an electric conductor moves in a magnetic field. where shutdown is considered undesirable. consideration should be given to the use of strainers upstream to prevent foreign matter from damaging the device or blocking the flow passages. 49 . Its major disadvantage has traditionally been its relatively high power requirement. The meter is inherently bi-directional and suitable for both clean and dirty water applications.The meter should be installed only after the process pipework has been cleaned and flushed.8. The pipework should be carefully aligned before fitting the meter.

therefore. viscosity and static pressure. I n s tallatio n A r r a n g e m e n t . but a minimum upstream straight length of 5 pipe diameters and a minimum downstream straight length of 2 pipe diameters is recommended. Stress on the flow tube must be avoided. but it must run full of liquid to ensure accurate measurement. it is always necessary to make a grounding connection to the liquid. the electrode axis should not be in a vertical plane.The measurement signal generated in most flow tubes is in the order of 1mV and source impedance often exceeds 1Mohm. A large variety of sizes are available (25mm to 2500mm or even larger). any current at supply frequency flowing through the body of the detector head does not exceed 10A rms. This connection is achieved by means of a metallic grounding ring between the flanges. thus eliminating the need for grounding/earthing flanges C a t h o d i c P rotection: If the detector head is installed in a system that is cathodically protected. How this contact is achieved depends upon the meter construction and the type of adjacent piping (unlined metal. horizontal. so adjustable couplings are helpful. Consequently. and flange nuts must only be tightened to the specified torque. some manufacturers’ meters now have an in-built grounding/earthing electrode. 4. flow should be from bottom to top to assure a full pipe. If mounted vertically. In locations subject to high ambient electrical noise. unless internal grounding has been provided in the transmitter. Electrical Installation .G e n e r a l : The magnetic flow transmitter tube may be installed in any position (vertical. Jumpers from the meter body to the piping are always required. or non-metallic ).2 Operational Requirements Manufacturer’s instructions should be followed where maximum accuracy is required. The magnetic flowmeter responds only to the velocity of the flow stream and. (A small chain of bubbles moving along the top of the flow line could prevent the top electrode from contacting the liquid). is independent of density. care must be taken to minimise electrical interference. the piping and the flowmeter. special precautions should be taken to ensure that: • • current at supply frequency does not flow through the liquid in the detector head. As development has continued. Piping should always be grounded. lined metal. Battery powering is now possible. Electrical connections between the flow transducer and a remote converter or receiver unit should not exceed the maximum distance permitted by the manufacturer. When mounted horizontally. This continuous contact is especially important if the conductivity of the liquid is low. or at an angle). A continuous electrical contact to the same ground potential is necessary between the flowing liquid. These precautions will limit the magnitude of any resultant spurious magnetic fields.There is negligible pressure drop. E l e c t r i c a l G ro u n d i n g / E a rt h i n g : The importance of proper grounding cannot be overemphasised It is necessary for the safety of personnel and for satisfactory flow measurement.9. 50 . This grounding connection is extremely important and must be done as recommended if the system is to operate properly. The manufacturer’s instructions on grounding and jumper arrangement should be followed carefully. If the meter is installed in non-metallic piping. consideration should be given to the use of an integral flow tube/transmitter.

4. and mounted close to the pipe wall.10. and. Initial trials have been promising. and incorrect positioning of the probe. is unaffected when air is present. The operating principle for the insertion turbine device is the same as for a full bore pipeline flowmeter. The following types are most common: • • Electromagnetic Turbine The electromagnetic device is basically an inside-out version of the electromagnetic full-bore device. it is possible. and operates with an accuracy of plus or minus 2% of the flow. it promises high accuracy throughout a very long life. Its mechanical nature and inherent high pressure drop make it unsuitable for most distribution metering applications. The meter is immune to particles. and measure actual volume of water passed in a given time by dividing the flow into discrete volumes. The velocity probe consists of a cylindrical sensor/probe shape which houses the field coil and two diametrically opposed pick up electrodes. and can be precisely located for carrying out a flow traverse. It consists of a rotor. This electromagnetic probe is a solid state competitor for the insertion turbine. Changes in flow during the traverse. More recently. and eliminates errors due to flow changes. in which case they must be positioned to monitor mean velocity. which is housed in a protective rotor cage and mounted on the end of a supporting insertion rod. 4. 4.10 4. A very accurate device in operation. Two transducers are inserted into the pipe through a single entry point. an ultrasonic insertion probe has been developed. In normal applications. with good accuracy being demonstrated.1 Domestic Revenue Meters Positive Displacement Positive displacement meters are used to determine totalised flow. It uses a transducer to pick up electronic pulse signals.1 Insertion Velocity Probes Description It is often desirable in flow studies and survey work to be able to measure the velocity at a point within the flow pattern to determine either mean velocity or flow profile. without any moving parts. or plus or minus 2mm/sec.11 4. with minimum costs. However.11. such a device would be inserted through a gate valve assembly on the pipeline. hence it can be installed and withdrawn under pressure without disruption to supply.11. approximately 20mm in diameter. which relate to the flow velocity of the oscillating water jet.2 Fluidic Oscillation A recent development in small revenue meters. with the obvious advantage of no moving parts. summing the volumes as they pass through the meter. because it has no moving parts. and hence no wear or blockage problems. This method reduces problems associated with blockage. it is best suited for use as a revenue meter on customer’s supplies. are possible sources of error. whichever is the greater. though not necessarily recommended. to use such devices as low cost permanent flowmeters. The probe is bi-directional. The field coil develops an electromagnetic field in the region of the sensor and the electrodes pick up a voltage generated which is proportional to point velocity in the vicinity of the probe. 51 .

Simple battery replacement (used to power the electronics) every ten years is the only maintenance required. meter reading system. should have significant impact in the domestic/small revenue meter market. both encoded and pulse output. 52 . or by a touch pad. The same company also offers an automatic. which will work with all commonly available meters. This meter. developed by a UK company within the Severn Trent Group. Meters can be read visually. and the data downloaded directly into a computer. or via a radio signal.

Figure 4.) which are each Subdivided into meter ed District Meter Areas (DMAs) These are the key ‘Building Block’ unit s (which may be subdivided into In which the Waste Meter Areas (WMAs )) leak can finally be located 53 . 2000 properties Waste meter measures flow into Waste Meter Area e.C. 700 properties M M M Sour ce Meter measures Total Output M M Each Source is Metered to the Supply area which is Subdivided into metered Operational Control Systems (O.g.S.g.1 Division of Water Distribution System Intak e and Treatment Works Meter measures flow into Operational Contro l Systems Dist rict meter measures flow into District Meter Area (DMA) e.

2 Mechanical Meter Installation Valve Helix meter Strainer Main FLOW Main FLOW Min 5 dia Straight pipe Min 2 dia Straight pipe 54 .Figure 4.

1 DETECTION EQUIPMENT Detection Principles Generally speaking. and are available in a variety of woods and metals. are sometimes used as routine tools to survey areas of suspected leakage. or on non-metallic pipes.3 Electronic Sounding Devices Where leaks produce a sound that is inaudible to the human ear. and hence is a more sensitive method of determining the position of maximum noise intensity than the stethoscope. This may not be easy. Frequency filter selection facilities can be a great help in this regard. nature of the ground into which the leak is discharging. They are passive devices. At worst. 5. to a loudspeaker. Water leaking from a pressurised main emits sound over a range of frequencies and produces a hissing noise. The output of the amplifier can be fed to headphones. 5. and other frequencies may be amplified due to the presence of cavities or other buried underground equipment. but entail considerable skill in their use. of course. These devices usually consist of a microphone. or the background noise is high. 5. The more professional-looking devices may be aluminium tube with an ebonite ear-piece. The particular distribution of frequencies produced by a leak is specific to that one particular leak and will depend upon such factors as the nature of the leak. They are widely used. especially if the latter’s operator is unskilled. easy to employ. The sound so produced will travel through the pipe. Stethoscopes can be used for either direct or indirect sounding. To further assist the electronic device. An indicating meter will display a measure of the total sound intensity received by the microphone. and some are inaudible to the human ear. at a velocity which depends upon both the characteristics of water and the pipe material. or where the leak noise is low. Furthermore. Electronic devices. and fortunately not commonplace.5. especially if there are large lengths of pipe without fittings. with ground microphones. and intuition. which introduces more subjectivity. or whether that ground is waterlogged. or to a combination of all three. which enables them to be conveniently carried in the pocket and can also be used for sounding on top of valve keys. knowledge of the area and consumers. since higher frequencies will be attenuated with distance. but sometimes the unwanted noise may have a similar frequency to that of the leak. Interference from traffic noise. electronics can help. 55 . leaving more distance for the more difficult surface sounding. seeking to amplify the leak noise whilst seeking to filter out the amplification of extraneous noise. different microphones are normally available depending upon whether the sounding is done on metallic pipe and fittings. and could also travel through the ground surrounding the pipe. will depend upon the position at which a sounding is made. and not all ambient noise can be isolated out. Many operatives. appear to get on just as well with their standard stopcock key which is an iron rod about 1 metre long.2 Stethoscopes (‘Listening’ or ‘Sounding’ Sticks) This is the traditional method employed in the Industry. transferring the leak noise to the ear with a minimum of attenuation. an interactive procedure involving dry hole excavations may ensue before the leak is found. Some are collapsible with short stems. and non-metallic pipe materials also hinder location. The object. As the sound travels away from the leak its character changes slightly. The leak noise detected therefore. routine leak location is dependent upon sound being generated by water escaping from the pipe. the position of highest sound intensity is not necessarily the position nearest to the leak. also play their part. pressure. however. pipe material. amplifier and frequency filters. is to identify the position of maximum sound intensity. Training and experience are needed to give the best results. or on the ground surface. Not all leaks produce a detectable noise. and are limited by the performance of the human ear. and also as a final confirmation of leak position detected by a correlator. to an indicating meter. size of the orifice. Experience.

with one man monitoring the meter. Electronic devices with separate microphones for direct and surface sounding are likely to be more effective than devices with only a single microphone (normally for surface sounding). However. The noise is converted into electrical signals. 5. expensive and caused extensive disruption to customers. The logger/ transmitter is attached to the incoming zone meter. All instruments give better response when direct sounding on metallic pipelines than on nonmetallic pipes or the surface. i.Experience is still required in the operation of electronic detectors. 5. a display shows a typical high amplitude peak. MAST combines these methods and relays the information constantly to the valve operator (as with the ‘man at the meter’ method) whilst providing the accuracy of a data logger. the further time spent closing valves was unnecessary. the following conclusions might be expected by comparing the performance of stethoscopes with electronic devices and comparing one device with another. iii. or the next day.4 The Mobile Advanced Step Tester (MAST) The primary function of MAST is the rapid identification of high consumption areas within ‘waste zones’ via the basic concept of traditional ‘step testing’ methods. the operator is always aware of the flow status. Electronic devices are likely to be more effective than stethoscopes in situations when the leak noise is low or where the background noise is high . As leak noise travels away from the leak. and the loss associated with these valves is immediately indicated by the changes in flow. searching for similarity. One of the parameters used in the calculation is the velocity of sound within the particular pipe material.5 Leak Noise Correlator (LNC) This instrument does not directly seek the point of highest sound intensity. It has been usual for ‘step tests’ to be performed using the ‘man at the meter’ method. ii. and a comparison made of the signals. In the case of softer. but a consistent noise source. it is attenuated by the material of the pipe. the operators were not aware of the flow changes until the end of a test. The apparent velocity is affected by the pipe material. The next development was to have electronic on-site flow readout at the meter. By moving through the zone and operating the test valves. from a purely theoretical point of view. but with reduced manpower and time. It has two sensors. It is relatively unaffected by background noise. When the correlation is achieved. Figure 5. This unit collects data at a user selectable time interval (typically 1 minute) and transmits this information to the receiver which displays the flow rate immediately for operation inspection. and because of this dependency on operator skill and frequency of use. this attenuation results in the absorption of the 56 . The 2-part system comprises a logger/transmitter and display/receiver. and uses the technique of crosscorrelation to determine the difference in time between the leak noise reaching the two sensors. whilst usually two men operate the valves. The time delay for this peak to be produced is measured by means of a calibrated time trace. Changes in flow are relayed to the operators via the voice radio network. plastic materials. It is also affected by the diameter of the pipe. As a pipe becomes ‘softer’. comparisons between individual detectors. However. and provided greater accuracy. The introduction of wax charts and then data loggers eliminated the necessity for the ‘man at the meter’. the apparent speed of sound within it becomes slower. or accelerometers (transducers). A major disadvantage of this was that if high consumptions had been identified during the first part of a test. and even between detectors and stethoscopes are not readily made. which are placed on fittings such as hydrants or valves on either side of the leak. down the pipe wall in both directions.1 explains the simple mathematics involved in the correlator calculation.they can discriminate signals inaudible to the human ear. but that again necessitated a man back at the meter to judge immediate response.

and can be operated by one man because the signals are transmitted by radio. although hydrophones can be used to increase sensitivity if a ‘wet’ connection is available. compared with traditional sounding stick use (sometimes known as ‘stop tap bashing’). enabling 30 or 60 to be deployed at one time. They have been proven in urban areas where leakage is difficult to detect even by correlator use. The use of hydrophones (sensors coming into direct contact with the water via standpipes. correlation was difficult on nonmetallic pipes because sensor technology was inadeqaute to correlate at low frequencies. and to work where pipe details are not known. In addition. or surveying. In early correlators.6. the more it is dominated by its lower frequency component.) is magnetic. and some have the signals digitised at source. Figure 5. and facilitate identification of the low level noise often associated with leaks on larger diameter mains. it may be said that the LNC offers: • • • • • Accurate leak location in high ambient noise Location of leakage with relatively low acoustic output Location within systems containing few fittings for direct sounding About 90% trial hole accuracy with consequent excavation/backfilling/ reinstatement cost reductions No need for an educated ear (though machine use training is very important). 5. They help to reduce leakage levels and operating costs simultaneously by facilitating the monitoring. This has made the LNC more flexible. on plastic pipes. hydrants. have extended operation range due to more sensitive sensors. of large areas quickly and effectively. they are considerably more sensitive than the human ear.2 Use as a Temporary Survey Tool This version is used to survey an area. or particular ‘trouble-spot’.higher leak noise frequencies. Current instruments now do all the mathematics themselves. also calculating the actual speed of sound in that particular run of pipework if necessary. and automatically give the leak position. economies of scale have lead to accumulation of 5 or even 10 sets together. Coupling to metal fittings (valves.) enables correlation on sounds of lower frequency and lower intensity. They do not require a dedicated vehicle. More recently. such that the further away from the leak that the noise travels. This is of particular help with plastic pipes and in rural areas. 5. and also where the local mains system is complicated. hydrant outlets etc. The new generation are smaller. which has enabled correlation to be performed on all types of pipe material. They are now an integral part of leak detection methodology. In conclusion. and promise greater cost-effectiveness in the further lowering of leakage levels now being pursued by the UK Water Suppliers. and need only receive a leak signal at one sensor.6 5. and is usually used in clusters of 6. and with much reduced manpower. The latest correlators incorporate sensors with an extended low frequency response.1 Leak Noise Loggers Introduction Noise (or acoustic) loggers are probably the most significant innovation in leak detection since the correlator. thus enabling the operator to build up a picture of the actual pipe velocities in a particular area. etc.6. and it has become the ‘workhorse’ of leak pinpointing. and in low-pressure areas. making it difficult to track down leakage sources.2 indicates how important it can be to know the actual route of a main between the sensor positions. easier to use. Noise loggers usually operate during the night. at the time of lowest background noise and highest pressure. This makes them a more effective survey tool than the correlator. and at a greater distance. They collect up to 2 57 . The development of the LNC has continued.

and with the added advantage that they do not disturb the operational system. and can be moved around to other locations to obtain several night’s data. This is obviously helpful when ‘patrolling’ some areas. The information is stored in the module’s memory. subjective assessment of a noise. but are battery powered for up to ten years. the presence of a leak being indicated graphically by a well-defined. whilst not exceeding 30 miles per hour. since the module will receive data whilst moving. if used by skilled and fully trained personnel. and are particularly helpful where the age and condition of valves. No night work is required for this method of monitoring/surveying. enabling correlation work and precise location to concentrate solely on suspect areas. and thus the approximate position of a likely leak. Already it is proving that it is possible to lower leakage levels further than ever before. Each unit is ‘intelligent’. it will not flag up that particular leak.3 Use as a Permanent Monitoring Tool This latest development of the version and principles described above is another major leap forward in detection technology. but they do ‘localise’ it. as soon as a possible leak is detected. They are an alternative to step testing. and can be printed out or downloaded to a PC. as well as localise it. 58 . these loggers do not rely on the same noise frequency arriving at two points with a short time delay.6. consistent noise peak. and no problems from being immersed in water. with no maintenance requirement. If no leak is present. such as PRVs. they can be immmediately interogated by a portable PC. Additional surveys to check the effect of repair work are equally simple and quick. is best avoided. since patrols can be done during the day by one person. They listen over a much longer period for the constant source of noise generated by a leak.hours of noise data at one-second intervals. the unit enters an alarm state and transmits a radio signal to indicate a ‘leak condition’. or continuous system draw-offs. This ‘receiving module’ analyses and ‘homes in’ on signals to identify the location of units indicating a ‘leak condition’. and where legitimate water demand continues. and at reduced operating costs. Signals are received by a module which can be mounted in a patrolling vehicle. They can be easily deployed. if required. the logger(s) that identified and localised it will recalibrate automatically so that. However. Their installation and function do not interrupt supplies. It has the potential to cause a major re-think about how to monitor areas for leakage. taking about 5 minutes to do so. the next time that stretch of main is patrolled. as they are non-invasive. or affect the customer in any way. a radio signal is transmitted to indicate normal background conditions. By comparing the sound level and spread recorded at each logger. and without the risk of equipment theft that can be associated with correlator use in busy areas. and saves a lot of time in the data gathering process. Proximity to loud noise sources. Providing a vehicle can pass within about 50 metres of the logger. requiring no specialist labour or night work. with plastic materials requiring closer spacing than metallic. The separation distance between loggers depends primarily on the pipe material. they are suited to busy night-time areas where traffic noise remains a problem. 5. By recording over a two-hour period. Once removed from the fitting. They are analysed by powerful electronic software. or stop. the driver need not leave his transport. being pre-programmed to operate automatically. They do not precisely locate a leak. and an LCD screen displays the leak characteristics against the logger identification number and location. There is no need to re-programme a logger once it is permanently installed. or can be easily hand-held. Whilst correct interpretation of the presented data is crucial. Unlike correlators. Once a leak has been repaired. the user can identify the approximate location of the leak and then focus attention on this section. and adapts itself to its environment. rules out step-testing as a leak localisation method. Data reception is confirmed audibly. These loggers are again installed at fittings via a simple magnetic coupling. before analysis. or the general network condition/status. their use does remove some of the individual.

the ‘cut and cap’ method in particular being very inefficient and expensive.7. or hydrogen. 5.2 Ground Probing Radar A new development with little track record in the UK. inspects each hole for the presence of the gas which will have come back out of solution as it escaped from the leak. the leak is downstream of the centre capping. It uses radar signals and electronic imaging of the reflected signals to locate underground leakage.7. The process is repeated by subsequent section division. 5. These techniques are seldom used.4 Cut and Cap Method This ‘last resort’ technique requires no special equipment. The main is cut and capped in the centre. the leak lies between the meter and the end cap. The gas used. sensitive to the gas.3 Gas Tracer Technique In this method. If the flow still continues. It will not work with water saturated soil. has in times past. cost effective alternative to acoustic methods. or.1 Non-Acoustic Equipment and Techniques Introduction The techniques described below do not depend upon leak noise.7 5. if the flow ceases.7. but it is now preferable to use sulphur hexafluoride. 59 .It can be seen that this piece of technology offers the possibility of continuous.7. alternatively. Its expense is obvious. and water is supplied through a meter. Bar holes are then made along the line of the main at regular intervals and a hand-held detector. 5. permanent monitoring for leakage for 100% of a distribution system. 5. The suspected main is isolated from all other connections. a non-toxic water soluble gas is added to the water supply in the area of suspected leakage. and awaits validation as an every day. just for those parts that are known problem areas. The technique is more suitable for rural mains and trunk mains where the absence of fittings prevents the use of normal sounding techniques. It is only by good fortune that a precise leak location can be made using these methods. been nitrous oxide. and bar holes can be easily made.

Figure 5.1 Leak NoiseCorrelator Calculation A a Correlator input Leak noise source L-a B A a v Delay Line B L-a v Time t Correlator output I ncreasing time delay t The figure shows a length of main which contains a noise producing leak with the microphones. The unknown distance of the leak from microphone A is small ‘a’ and the total distance between the microphones. the position of the leak is given by a = 60 . placed either side. A & B.a) v (2a . ‘L’. The time taken for the leak noise to reach A = a v (L .L) v (tv + L) 2 and the time taken for it to reach B where v=velocity of sound in the pipe. The difference in time to reach the two microphones (t) = = Re-arranging.

it is important to know exactly how the pipe runs.Figure 5. in order to measure the total length of the pipe. a) Pipe with many Bends SENSOR PAVEMENT SENSO R FITTING TRUE PIPE SHAPE FITTING b) ‘T’ Sections PAVEMENT SENSOR ASSUMED PI PE LENGTH SENSOR GTH LEN PE PI UAL ACT PAVEMENT FITTING FITTING 61 .2 Sources of Error in Distance Measurement Leak noise travels along the length of the pipe. Here are two situations in which mistakes are often made in assessing pipe length. When using the correlator.

However. to check internal corrosion. or any other tell-tale signs. by a study of trends. Check operation of all key valves (and inspection for gland packing etc.2 Meter on Bypass The easiest method of measuring trunk main leakage is to close two valves on the line. Trunk mains usually have a number of large meters associated with them. often taking the form of sudden eruptive bursts due to the high operating pressures. However. at treatment works. The reality of the situation is that in general a ‘passive’ policy is often applied to trunk main leakage. Excavation down to the pipeline every few years to check for graphitisation and other external corrosion. UK experience shows that lack of identification and maintenance of ageing valves and fittings can cause serious embarassment when things go wrong. Neglect can mean wasteful and dangerous leaks go unnoticed until they become catastrophic and threaten supplies to large areas. proper preventative maintenance and inspection procedures are essential. This method has the disadvantage that trunk mains normally have few sluice valves along their length and that an accurate measurement depends upon the drop tight closure of these valves. that the main has to be taken out of service. The advantage of this method is that it utilises equipment that will be available. looking for signs of water. Despite the drawbacks involved in all the methods described. pumping stations. it is very important to keep monitoring trunk mains and their leakage. Only the last two of these are mentioned since the other methods have previously been described. is connected between the two tappings. in the manner of a step test. The simplest and most common way of looking for trunk main leakage is to walk the length of the main. Disadvantages are. typically a 25mm semi-positive displacement flow meter. Comparisons of input and output meters on the aqueduct and a mass balance assessment of water flows (‘Trunk main DMAs’ are sometimes feasible). because trunk mains and aqueducts are vital and expensive assets. and the precise location of such can be very time consuming. infra-red photography and leak noise correlation are all possible means of more precise location. These programmes will include: • • • • • • Surface inspection of the line of aqueduct. especially when a number of measurements have to be aggregated. illegal connections. Sounding. changes in vegetation growth. permeable ground and roadways do not help such a search.1 EQUIPMENT AND LEAKAGE DETECTION TECHNIQUES FOR TRUNK MAINS Introduction Monitoring of leakage on trunk mains is notoriously difficult and inconvenient. 25mm tappings are made on either side of the upstream valve. demanding prompt attention. The approximate position of any leakage measured can be determined by the successive closing of any sluice valves along the main.). such an approach can. if either the upstream or the downstream valve is letting-by a false measurement of leakage will be obtained. and secondly. 62 . but even so may not be comprehensively covered. Marshy ground. Regular checking of cathodic protection systems. Internal inspection of the aqueduct. the meters may not be sufficiently accurate to give confidence regarding discrepancies caused by leakage. Additionally. gas tracer techniques. one upstream and one downstream. Any leakage on the section under test will registered on the meter. The first three methods of measurement referred to below only give the approximate positions of leaks. 6. firstly. It is much smaller in total volume than that occurring on the distribution system. indicate likely leaks as they occur. offtakes. reservoirs.6. 6. relying on the usual high pressures to make a significant leakage obvious to farmers or the public who will then notify the Water Supplier. using CCTV cameras as necessary. and a small meter.

For leak detection purposes this is adequate. straight tapping. 63 . Inserting the meter through a tapping adjacent to. and just upstream of. 6. As the rate of flow through a trunk main varies. The meter is used by isolating the trunk main at some downstream point. The disadvantage is that it requires two site visits. Any flow registered by the meter will be leakage along that trunk main plus any water which is letting-by the shut valve. and uncertainties about the exact cross-sectional area of the pipeline at the point of measurement. indicate a much higher velocity than 25mm per second.6. or upstream velocity with downstream velocity over a range of flows. whereas the velocity differences between the two measurement points due to leakage will be independent of velocity. but with less accuracy. since the two meters are not used to make flow measurements as such. and inserting the meter through a tapping made at some upstream point. In view of the disadvantages of this method. by comparing upstream flow with downstream flow. which will involve the use of a computer programme. only very large leaks can be detected because of errors in the meters themselves. Manual analysis of the flow data obtained is sufficient to detect leaks producing velocities in the main equivalent to l0mm per second or greater. This is equivalent to cutting and capping. This is an insertion type meter and will pass through any 25mm clear. If it is found that leakage does exist along the main. The advantages of this method of trunk main leakage measurement are: a) b) The method accounts for any water which is ‘let by’ by the valves. Consequently. to remove the meters and to collect the data. it is necessary to repeat the measurement with the meters exchanged end for end. approximately 24 hours later. The meter is capable of measuring velocities in the range of 2 to 25mm per second with an accuracy of about + lmm per second. its approximate position can be determined by closing valves. the thought of using two flow measurements made with insertion meters would appear to add to this problem. The advantage of this method of trunk main leak measurement is that it is not necessary to take the trunk main out of supply in order to make the measurement. but of course is very much cheaper. and to use a more sophisticated analysis of the data. the velocity at the two measurement points also varies. and down to a minimum of 3mm per second. it is possible to determine the degree of leakage between the two measurement points. however. since leakage velocities greater than 25mm per second will usually warrant further investigation. the shut valve will provide a measure of water passing the valve and the difference between the two readings is the leakage along the length of the main. albeit for a short period of time. Differences in the velocity at the two measurement points caused by differences in the velocity profile or cross-sectional area will vary in a velocity proportional manner. For detection of leaks below l0mm per second. since problems of integrating the velocity profile to obtain mean velocity. and sometimes the difference between two measurements indicates a net gain along the length of the main. the first to install the meters and the second. At first sight. The meter will. It can be used to determine roughly the position of the leak. could increase the errors.4 Pairs of Insertion Turbine Meters It is well known that in situations where flow meters are installed on the inlet and outlet of the trunk main. a better technique is to insert the meter through additional tappings made along the length of the main to determine whether the leakage is upstream or downstream of this additional tapping. The disadvantage is that the trunk main has to be isolated from supply.3 Heat Pulse Flow Meter The second method of measuring the trunk main leakage is to use the heat pulse flow meter. The meters can also be inserted through additional tappings made along the length of the main to determine roughly the position of the leak.

6 Leak Noise Correlation This technique has been previously explained in its use in the distribution system. and it may yet find its place in rural mains situations. 64 . The LNC has been restricted in its use on trunk mains largely because of the few access points generally available. particularly where access is difficult. which obviously has to be clearly identifiable. It relies on changes in the temperature of the ground caused by the presence of moisture (hopefully leakage) to be identified by an infra-red camera carried by an aircraft flying along the route of the main. moving trunk mains detection from a largely ‘passive’ to an ‘active’ policy. but from reports seen.6. 6. If the cost of the extra hardware and ancillaries is favourable. leakage surveys of trunk mains may well be around the corner. Successful tests have been reported with such sensors 5kms apart. Development work continues. This ‘long distance’ correlator therefore looks to be a promising technique. and where the climate is hot and/or dry. developments with computer hardware enable correlations to take place utilising hydrophone sensors placed significant distances apart. it has not yet proved its worth.5 Infra-Red Photography This is a technique which has been applied in some parts of the UK. However.

7. Roadside markers for such fittings are extremely helpful. 7. but vigilance is required to prevent their covers from being obscured. The relative depths of lay required for the various mains argue powerfully in favour of the lateral dispositions illustrated.2 result from a fresh analysis of Utility needs in the UK.1 Service Pipe Layouts General Arrangement of a Service Pipe Figure 7. and are therefore recommended as standard locations. 7.3. The lateral clearances between adjacent Utility mains are considered as the minimum. and clearly marked ‘Water Service Pipe’ at one metre intervals along its top. this tape should contain a metallised mesh to aid subsequent location by detectors.3. to serve as a warning to excavators.0 metre and the prior agreement of all Utilities concerned.4 Proximity to Other Services The usual location of the service pipe in regard to other Utilities’ services in the UK is indicated in Figure 7. The duct should be a minimum of 40 mm diameter. If non-metallic pipes are in the trench. 7. However.3 7. 7. but it must have a clear width of at least 1.1. To avoid accidental damage (and asscoiated leakage).3 Provision of Ducting A duct should be provided for all service pipes located under the carriageway (usually on long-sided services). Standard positioning of mains in footpaths. Valve and hydrant chambers help.2 Location for Mains in a 2 Metre Footpath Mains routes involving all Utilities normally require in the UK a minimum clear width of 2. but also help identify other underground pipes and services when they appear in the excavation process. 7. SERVICES AND VALVES Introduction Being able to easily identify the location of mains and services is an obvious requirement if leakage is to be located and repaired. and represent the best use of the limited space available.1 IDENTIFICATION OF MAINS.4.0 metres in the straight sections.3. where all Utilities are not involved.3 illustrates the normal arrangement in the UK for a service pipe where the water main and the service pipe are located in the same footpath (short-sided services). can not only help the location procedure. 7. and service connections to houses.2 Depth of Service Pipe All service pipes in the UK should be laid with a minimum cover of 750 mm to the final finished ground level. a reduction in the route width may be acceptable. No joints of the service pipe should be contained within the length of the duct. Needless to say. highly visible plastic marker tape should be laid in the pipe trench. before any excavation commences. by tarmac in particular. The disposition of mains involving all Utilities would normally be as indicated in Figure 7. Under no circumstances should the cover be greater than 1350 mm. 300mm above the pipe soffit.3. The recommended dispositions as illustrated in Figure 7. 65 . coloured blue. other Utilities should always be contacted to ensure there is an awareness of such plant. and must be replaced if they go missing.

under certain exceptional circumstances.5. The alternating current may be caused to flow in the pipeline by either induction or conduction. and the receiver used separately. is to be traced.the transmitter is directly connected between a fitting on the pipeline and an earthstake driven into the ground at some distance from the pipe to be located. because it is not necessary to have access to the pipeline.the transmitter is connected by wires to two access points on the pipeline. the section between which.3. or drive in earthstakes. nor to run out lengths of cable. Direct coupling . Equipment used to make the current flow in the pipeline by conduction can be used in two forms: a) b) Earthstake coupling .1 Electronic Pipe Locators I n t ro d u c t i o n All existing pipe locators used by the water industry come under the general heading of ‘low radio frequency instruments’ and can only be used for locating metallic pipelines. should the water service pipe be located nearer the gas service. Pipe locating equipment used inductively has the transmitter placed on the ground above the line of the pipe. or problems may occur with impregnation of gas through the walls of the polyethylene water pipe. 7. more than one property may be connected to one communication pipe. The direction of valve closure could be indicated as follows by the background colour of the sleeve:Clockwise closing Anti-clockwise closing Blue Black The function of the valve could be indicated by coloured bands on the sleeve e.g. 7. for example. under normal circumstances every supply pipe should have a separate communication pipe and a separate ferrule connecting it to the water main.5 Alternative Layouts for Crossing Carriageway Generally. However. All of the locators work by causing an alternating current to flow in the pipe and detecting the magnetic field thus produced. It must be stressed however that these alternative arrangements are not regarded as good practice and should only be used when the provision of separate communication pipes is not practicable. Z o n e / B o u n d a r y valve District (DMA) valve Valve controlling a private main Valve controlling a dialysis unit Yellow Red Green White 7.5 7.The dimensions indicated are generally regarded as the minimum distances allowed between the various sections. 66 .4 Valve Identification Valves should be identified on site by. Induction is probably the most convenient method. Under no circumstances. the installation of a coloured sleeve over the valve cap.

The location accuracy obtained with instruments used in the conductive mode will in most cases be better than instruments used inductively.5. They are both very much at a developmental stage. With conductive coupling. current-based methods can not be used to locate such pipes unless metallised marker tape is laid at the same time as the pipe.7. is that of discrimination between closely spaced mains and services.5. shared by all pipe location equipment. 7. 67 .4 Plastic Pipe Locators Since plastic is non-conductive.3 Accuracy of location The sharpness of response of pipe location instruments to buried pipelines will depend on the depth and the mode of operation. 7. to line the inside of the pipe. Plastic pipe locators therefore rely on the audiotracing of a noise genrated into the pipe or water column. The second is to implant micro radio transmitters in the pipe wall that can be detected when in close proximity above the main. The first is to use a traceable. plastic ones in particular. but at least offer the possibility of tracing the pipe.5. discrimination is likely to be better than 1 times depth if direct coupling is used. it is likely that discrimination between two parallel pipelines will only be achieved where the separation exceeds 1. chemical coating. For instruments used inductively.5 times the depth. They are generally less effective.6 Other Pipe Location Methods There are two other possibilities being considered for the location of pipes.25 to 1. 7. similar to substances at use in the food industry.2 Discrimination The major problem. The degree of discrimination will depend on the mode of operation.

1 Water Main .Figure 7.2 Recommended Arrangement of Main in a 2m Footpath Dimensions in mm 2000 1550 1255 960 300 mm max Property Boundary 690 430 Road Cable TV 450 295 295 270 Water Elec Gas 260 Telecoms 430 68 .Position in 2m Footpath 300mm max Property Boundary Footpath Road Cable TV Telecomms Electricity Gas Meter & Stop Valve Water Figure 7.

3 Typical Layout of Service Pipe Dimensions in mm Property boundary line 750mm 300mm max Plastic Tube 1350mm max 750mm min Boundary box / Stop valve 900mm 25mm nom bore Supply Pipe Maintained by consumer Service Pipe 25mm Polythene tube (Provide duct on road crossing) Communication P ipe Ferrule connect ion Water Main Figure 7.4 Usual Location of Service Pipe to Property Dimensions in mm 450 450 750 Min 200 min 100 100 Electrici ty Telecomms Water Service Pipe Gas 69 .Figure 7.

It should also be remembered that the Net Night Flow also contains some legitimate domestic consumption.2 Night Lines The flow of water at night is thus a very important factor in leakage control and detection. It is known as the ‘bottom up’ approach. 70 .1 LEAKAGE IDENTIFICATION AND LOCALISATION Demand Patterns The Total Integrated Flow (TIF). the large majority of demand occurs in daytime and results in the classic and well known demand pattern shown in Figure 8. It is this difference which forms the key to leakage identification. such as electromagnetic . Although some commercial undertakings work shift systems and some households work at nights. 8. 8. most of the flow at night will be leakage. or ‘top down’ approach is of little use in assessing leakage on less than an annual basis. However. although its volume varies with pressure. This is known as the ‘20 hour rule’. The success of the method can be attributed to two major influences. the rapid advances in metering technology have expanded the flow range of the well established mechanical meters. because important deductions from it (such as for factories working shifts etc. for if ways can be found of separating legitimate usage from leakage. and therefore cannot be used to assess overall performance. and have led to the introduction of other meter types. then the water still flowing can be identified as leakage. Legitimate usage takes place mostly during daytime. as it requires specific measurements to be taken. This is true for large conurbations and is surprisingly still accurate for quite small demand areas within the overall area. or if there are times (even temporarily) when normal usage ceases.) have to be made to arrive at a ‘net’ Night Flow (NNF). more difficult to obtain.3 The Development of Continuous Monitoring Studies throughout the world have shown that continual monitoring for leakage control is cost effective on almost all distribution networks. Leakage is continuous. It is. To convert night time leakage rate to total daily leakage. 8. in the size and flow range. rather than using generally available data. so another method is required for operational leakage detection purposes. It is subject to less significant errors than the TIF method.1. A high night line is a good first indicator of high leakage levels.. This enables comparison to be made between areas and against set targets. It is known as the Night-Line in the UK. whereas legitimate demand varies with time. NNF is normally expressed in litres per property per hour. It can readily be seen that since most of the legitimate demand does not occur at night-time. Firstly. such figures will not include leakage from service reservoirs or trunk mains. Fortunately there are methods by which this can be done. provided that meter coverage is complete. but it is not a leakage level itself. however. and that the rate of leakage at night is higher than the average daily rate because the pressure is at its highest at night. and is usually the flow through a DMA meter for 1 hour between 3 am and 4 am (times may vary).8. and at a cost suitable for leakage measurement. and eliminates the extraneous factors included in ‘unaccounted for water’. In all cases the leakage is running to waste continuously. tests have yielded the following approximation: (night time leakage rate) x 20 hrs = total daily leakage The multiplier of 20 instead of 24 hours takes into account the reduced day time pressure. In systems with either district or waste metering it is possible to aggregate the results of night flow measurements to produce an overall figure.

they are not a replacement for flow monitoring. replenishment of factory storage tanks. Where it is not deemed negligible. a lot of time can be wasted. In many areas it will be negligible and can be ignored. the techniques ranging from simple remote reading devices to programmable data loggers and telemetry. Furthermore. Together these advances have encouraged a trend away from those leakage control methods requiring a routine survey (the inefficient regular sounding or the labour intensive regular waste metering) to those which utilise continual monitoring (district metering/combined metering). Use data loggers where the meters are logger compatible . Take night meter readings of the major non-domestic users.Secondly. The increasing use of domestic appliances overnight using economy electricity tariffs is also a factor which may need consideration. The difference will give the night consumption of industrial users who shutdown for the holiday. and a decision made on whether further action is required. This can be the source of big errors. The latest development is that of the permanent acoustic (or ‘noise’) loggers. Measure MNF immediately prior to and during a ‘bank holiday’ period. if overlooked. unauthorised use of fire mains). the first step should be to verify the data and check DMA meters. 71 .consider changing/converting old meters on major users where this is not the case. this can be compared to previous readings and ‘norms’ for the area. not for flow into an area.4 Determination of Leakage from Night Flows The primary use of net night flow data is to provide operational data on which to decide on the need for further action. is different in that they monitor directly for leakage. the alternative methods available to determine it are as follows:i) Use a percentage of average daily consumption. 8. and it may be prudent to check such connections before embarking on leak location work. This is satisfactory where the total non-domestic consumption is relatively small. The minimum night flow (MNF) can be readily measured with reasonable accuracy for both district and waste meter areas. Having determined the leakage. This.g. In addition. Some users may be able to supply night consumption data. Some allowance will still be required for commercial users with an element of domestic type consumption. This consumption is included in the net night flow figure. data capture has become increasingly sophisticated. Determination of the night metered consumption is more difficult. loggers and boundary valves. Trade effluent data may provide useful information. and.5 Necessary Checks Having identified an area with indicated high unaccounted for levels at the meter(s). If the night flow in a district exceeds some threshold value. which includes minor undetectable leakage such as dripping taps and passing ball cocks. 8. Even so. Do a telephone survey of major consumers to determine whether there is significant night usage e. they automatically localise the approximate position of a leak such that a leak noise correlator can be immediately employed to precisely locate it. it is not eliminated entirely. ii) iii) iv) v) It must also be remembered. further investigation should be undertaken to locate the source of the extra losses. Research in the UK suggests an allowance of about 21/prop/hr. allowing small changes in flow volumes to be observed. and for industrial users with continuous processes. on large complex sites there is a possibility of misuse of water (e. which may be unreported bursts. however that whilst domestic consumption is reduced to a minimum by measuring flows at night. of course.g.

and performance monitored against the target level set for each DMA. Figure 8. so that each district meter feeds a district area. then a high increase of leakage is probably not indicated. it may be necessary to subdivide it so that each sub-area contains less than about 1000 properties. and the situation monitored until pressures return to normal. Waste runs will be performed on each of the WMAs at an agreed frequency. then pressures monitored at key points in the area will approach zero. then the pointers are towards increasing leakage. where sudden increases in demand occur for no apparent reason. The supply is then slowly re-introduced. the search for leakage needs to concentrate upon the reasons for a high night. and record the flow through the meter. then it is possible to correlate the two and show that the increased flow is not leakage. This will not only prove that the boundary valves shut tight. If this corresponds to a new large metered customer being connected to the mains. This can be done using established Waste Meter Areas within the DMA. it has the permanent advantage that future investigation of the area is made easier. comparisons may be helpful to confirm leakage between ‘bottom-up’ night flow calculations and ‘top down’ bulk consumption calculations. It may be that a meter registering water flow into a rural area suddenly shows an increase in demand. but these can be minimised by shutting most of the valves during the day. To carry out waste meter runs. where a large area has to be kept ‘open’. Areas of less than about 1000 properties are more manageable for the final leak location. of course. Waste meter areas are now sometimes referred to as district meter sub-areas. or by judicious valving.line.‘Pressure Zero Testing’ should be carried out in order to confirm the integrity of the area. Regulators of the UK Water Industry now expect such comparisons of leakage as part of leakage assessment. This demonstrates the importance of monitoring leakage regularly and taking account of TREND in flow patterns. Then. 8. In such cases additional costs for night-time overtime working will be incurred. the flow into the sub-area will only be monitored temporarily. If the installation of further meters or valves is necessary. the water supply is turned off at the meters. it is necessary to close all the predetermined boundary valves.1 Waste Metering General This technique may still be necessary even within a district metering strategy.7. 8. 72 . and the need is for further investigations. Some WMAs may not be capable of being run for 24 hours due to low pressure in the area itself. If the area is ‘tight’. just leaving the critical valves to be closed. This is done by valving-off the area. and the system allowed to drain down through consumption and leakage.6 Large Area Sub-Division Detection methods should be employed to progressively narrow the search for leakage (‘localisation’) using the most appropriate method to ‘home in’ and finally locate it. If the demand gradually builds up in an area and thus matches the number of new properties being built. or flows creep up whilst housing stock is constant. Having recorded the flows in several such WMAs. On a weekly basis. although it is more capital expense. A realistic calculation of actual leakage is also necessary for each DMA so that an aggregated ‘bottom up’ assessment of each District can be made. but will also disclose any unknown connections to adjacent areas. In operating at night. the decision can be made as to whether further action is required. The time taken to do this will. preferably with a data logger. If leakage is suspected in a large DMA. or in adjacent areas downstream. using district meter information. In either case. depend on the number of valve shuts required and also on whether the meter is fixed or mobile.7 8. On the other hand.2 illustrates this exercise.

provided that Minimum Night Flows (MNF) are being recorded by the district meters.3 Effect of Reduction in Pressures If due to the valve closure pressures are significantly reduced during the night period. 8. The location and frequency of the waste tests and step tests will be determined by the district meter readings. all of which depend on valves shutting tight: 73 . water supplies are restored. the valve will require repair or replacement.7.3 illustrates the principle of step testing. and the flow rate is measured. saving time and money. and this normally means that a much smaller part of the area needs subsequent location work. 8. Figure 8. Step testing is usually carried out at night and thus carries penalties in overtime payments and disruption of work routine. each step of the test should contain about l00 houses in a UK situation. For best results. but no noise can be heard. it is necessary to decide on whether a step test should be carried out prior to sounding/correlating. Water is run to waste through the hydrant. step tests can now be performed using radio. An undiscovered leak would show a disproportionate drop in flow. and each valve should be sounded after closing to check this. provided that pressures are not significantly reduced. 8. checks of important water supplies and dialysis patients are necessary before work begins. Thus the leakage in that section can be separately assessed.2 Methods of Step Testing There are various procedures for actually performing step tests.4 Combination with District Metering If waste metering is used in combination with district metering (and this is now much more usual in the UK than waste metering on its own). If this is not the case. In this way it is possible to identify those small sections where the leakage is occurring.2 Checking of Boundary Valves It is clearly essential that the boundary valves shut tight.1 Step Testing General If further detection action is decided upon as a result of a night-time increase at the district meter or the waste meter run. Since water flow is interrupted. This will depend on the size of the area and past experience.8 8.8. it is no longer necessary to maintain a set pattern or frequency of waste testing.7.8. it will be necessary to test the water tightness of the valve. although this will not always indicate valves which are passing. As soon as possible after the step test.8. Step testing is the process of successively closing valves to reduce the size of the area being metered.7. With technological developments. This additional flow should appear at the waste meter if the valve is water tight. If it is suspected that a valve is letting by. but it can be very effective and may be the only option in busy city centre areas if no acoustic loggers are available. following the closure of a particular valve. The resultant drop in flow rate monitored at the meter by chart and/or logger. it may be necessary to adjust the measured MNF to obtain a figure which is truly representative of the normal leakage level. represents the MNF in that small section isolated by that valve. This can be done by installing a hydrant flow meter near to the suspect valve and within the valved-in WMA. 8.

step testing.6.i) The isolation method. In fact.see section 5. In many areas. This technique may be useful in identifying some steps where leakage is not running.3 Night Tests Step testing must normally be carried out at night.5 Flow Recording Where the Mobile Advanced Step Tester (MAST . and cannot be repeated. it threatens to reduce existing operational costs.8.2) has improved this situation. Reduced pressures have made remaining leakage more difficult to find. Their use in clusters has greatly helped to locate leaks in problem areas where it was already known that something was wrong. it is the ‘permanent’ device (see section 5. The back feed method.4 Day Tests Trials of afternoon step testing may be carried out with success in areas where many of the properties are unoccupied during the day. where each time a valve is closed a corresponding valve is opened behind it. The introduction of the first ‘temporary’ noise loggers (see section 5. In the UK.6. The close and open method. and may vary with the day of the week. Often only 3 or 4 hours will be available.8. but previous sounding and correlation had been inconclusive . and each test is likely to take a two (or sometimes three) man team 6 hours to carry it out. thus confirming the water tightness of the valves If all the leakage is accounted for prior to the end of the test. an on-site readout of flow busy built-up areas. They have proved a cost-effective survey tool. Experience needs to be gained. most of the ‘easy’ leakage has now been detected and repaired.3) which is causing the most excitement. is required. or where mains intersections are complex (e. The number of shuts planned must be tailored to fit within the time available. 8. carrying. and initial sounding surveys are all manpower intensive. 8. urban crossroads). Actual time taken will depend on the number of shuts.4) is not used. the leakage benefit of pressure reduction has already been felt. with all the interruption and expense that this entails. where the area downstream of the closed valves is left without water for the duration of the test. The period will be indicated by the pattern of the MNFs previously recorded.g. in which each valve is only closed for a period long enough for the drop in flow rate to be recorded. a certain ‘conviction’ is required before holes can be confidently dug. For large areas. This period may be influenced by electricity tariffs and social habits. 8. preferably in graphical form. and therefore relatively costly in operational expenditure.9. and on the duration of the night period when flows are at a minimum. however. this can be identified and the test completed early. as it does. the possibility of helping Water Suppliers achieve further leakage reductions without the spiralling operational costs that might have been anticipated. The advantages of this are that: i) ii) Each step can be noted on the graph. steps larger than the ideal 100 houses will probably be required. and detection is also becoming more difficult because 74 . in the correct interpretation of results from these loggers.8. However.9 8.1 Acoustic (Noise) Logging General The localisation procedures of waste metering. enabling better targeting of leak location resources. but positive readings are not able to differentiate between leakage and normal consumption. ii) iii) 8.

2 Operational Aspects Preparation prior to the installation of these loggers is minimal. may also be a factor regarding where they are actually deployed. at the minimal extra cost of another patrol. Once deployed and initially ‘patrolled’. The reading of a DMA meter can easily include the monitoring of the loggers within it. or where it is preferred not to do so.some of these were thought to have been ‘masked’. In ‘stable’ areas where leakage increase is slow. Also.9. (to be within 50 metres of each logger). This has meant that leakage reductions have started to ‘tail off’ with existing methods. with no reliance on subjective. thus avoiding wasted time looking for leaks in areas where there are none. once the prescribed level is reached.9. they could be taken back again to assist in the localisation of the new leaks.3 Results The ‘permanent’ version of the noise logger was launched in the UK in June 1999. and detection costs are increasing. These include: • • • Leaks being localised faster than before. following substantial field trials. Where leakage control is the only reason for setting up small DMAs. 8. and skilled detection staff are focussed on finding ‘known’ leaks with a correlator. leakage reduction efforts can be stopped at any point once an acceptable level has been reached. so by monitoring the night flow into the DMA.background noise at night is increasing. rather than in a widely dispersed manner 75 . or inaudible Increased repair efficiency. the time taken to identify. it may afford the postponement of some capital schemes for resource enhancement. Because the noisiest leaks may not be the biggest. The planning of a patrol route. The spacing of the loggers will also be dependent on the pipe material. whose proximity is to be avoided. an initial list of leaks will be generated. These loggers may be the only solution in areas where it is not possible to set up DMAs. One person can survey several DMAs in a day. because the detection time is greatly reduced. Management has control over this process. Furthermore. Hence they provide greater flexibility in the development and operation of a distribution system. the loggers could be removed and re-deployed to another area. the loggers allow more and more leaks to be identified. The permanent noise logger offers the potential to reduce the economic level of leakage. Many operational benefits have been confirmed. with the obvious savings in water More leaks being found than was thought possible with previous methodologies . The area to be monitored has to be checked for the availability of fittings and for the presence of loud noise sources on the mains. 8. This is obviously motivating for the workforce. Once installed. This means a prescribed leakage level can be easily maintained. more than one patrol may be necessary to significantly reduce the leakage level. When there is an unacceptable increase in the night flow in the original area. and cause the postponement of some mains renewal schemes in areas where this was seen to be the only remaining solution to reduce leakage. so that new leaks are ‘localised’ at exactly the same time as increases in the night flow are noticed. with leaks being dealt with in clusters. and to change the ‘thinking’ about what levels of leakage are ‘tolerable’ and ‘inevitable’. It is obvious that labour-intensive methods cannot continue to deliver ongoing reductions in leakage and cost. with consequently reduced setting-up costs. human interpretation factors. by facilitating further savings. they enable a move in policy to larger ones. detect and repair an average leak is still relatively long. and repair may initially cause the breakout of more leaks that were ‘waiting to happen’.

• • ‘Lowest ever’ leakage levels being attained. It remains for individual Water Suppliers to decide what coverage to deploy them at. but it is looking likely that initial capital investments will easily be repaid within the life expectancy of the loggers. in established DMAs A marked reduction in leak detection operating costs The evidence suggests that a new era is dawning for leak detection with this piece of technology. and whether to use some in a rotational way between different areas. and maintained. More figures are awaited regarding overall costs. 76 . Such ‘best use’ data will accumulate as experience is gained.

Midnight 6 a.m.m. Noon 6 p.) 77 .2 Temporary Sub-Division of DMAs to Help Locate Leakage PERMANENTLY CLOSED DMA BOUNDARY VALVES METER M1 A B MAINS METER M2 TEMPORARY CLO SURE AT VA LVES ‘A’ & ‘B ’ TO DI VIDE THE ‘DMA’ INTO 2 PARTS WILL ENABLE ASSESSMENTS O F DEMAND PER PROPERTY IN EACH TO BE MADE. Figure 8.1 Demand Pattern in a Typical Area Peak Demand Legitim ate Water Usage Night Line Leakage flows Continuously Leakage Flows Continuously 6 a.m.Figure 8. THIS METHOD SOMETIMES HAS APPLICATION IN LOCATING LEAKAG E (ESSENTIALLY 2 TEMPORARY ‘WASTE METER AREAS’ ARE FORMED.


The main disadvantages of both direct and surface soundings are: a) b) c) d) e) It is sometimes difficult to determine the precise position of highest sound intensity. but generally it is less effective and reliable than direct sounding on fittings. However. If the noise is on a boundary stop tap.e. it indicates a leak on the communication pipe. Some leaks are inaudible to the human ear. or more probably on the main if the noise can be heard on adjacent fittings. the correlator sensors are attached to those fittings noted as producing a noise. or where other underground apparatus is very close. The procedure for locating a leak is as follows. Sounding can be very difficult in areas with high background noise such as that produced by traffic in busy streets. It can be particularly unreliable where recent excavations have been made and backfilled with imported material. Successful sounding is dependent upon operator skill. The position of highest sound intensity does not always coincide with the position of the leak or the fitting nearest the leak.9. holes can be drilled through the ground. 79 . If the noise continues.1 LEAKAGE LOCATION. Sounding can either be done directly. The stop tap is closed and then sounded once more. it is necessary to ascertain whether this is due to use within the house.2 Leak Noise Correlation Leak Noise Correlators measure the time taken for the leak noise to travel from the leak to sensors placed at different points on the mains system. On the first pass a note is made of those fittings on which a noise is found. 9. or by boosters and certain fittings such as control valves. The advantages of sounding are: a) b) c) The equipment is relatively simple and inexpensive. the more recent ground microphones with probe attachments are a significant improvement. Those fittings are then sounded again. Properly used. Sounding seeks to identify aurally the point of maximum intensity of the characteristic hissing noise of a pressurised leak. boundary stop taps. Where it is carried out together with sounding. that is by making direct contact with fittings on the main. Surface sounding can be successful where there is a hard surface above the main. which is usually more precise than ‘sounding’. Automatic correlation by the machine then indicates the position of the leak. or in conjunction with it. Leak noise correlation can be carried out either in place of sounding. The disadvantages can all be overcome by use of the Leak Noise Correlator. leak noise correlation can identify leakage typically to within a metre of its location. it indicates leakage on the consumer’s pipework and a notification of such is made. Correlators can be used to carry out the initial sound survey by attaching the sensors to fittings on the main at suitable intervals and seeing whether a correlation can be found. or by listening on the ground surface above the line of the main. i. allowing access via an iron bar. Where there are long lengths of main without any access points. valves and hydrants. and the location of the leak determined. a large number of fittings can be inspected fairly rapidly. 9. If the noise ceases. or more usually as a means of finally locating a leak previously identified and localised by other methods. It is possible to detect leakage within the premises when used in conjunction with the turning off of the consumer’s stopcocks. CONFIRMATION AND REPAIR Sounding Sounding can be used as a detection method in its own right (very labour intensive). In this case surface sounding is carried out to locate the position of the leak more precisely. In conditions of low background noise. and some produce insufficient sound to be detected by any sounding technique.

These sensors are fitted to hydrants. Adjacent premises with cellars may also provide clues.The maximum distance between the sensors must be set according to the pipe materials encountered. This is a helpful check before the expensive commitment of digging a hole! In a verge or field. and hence an increase in the maximum distance between the sensors. length between sensors etc). Later correlator models facilitate the sound survey technique by incorporating a survey mode. and leak noise correlators do have a major advantage in busy urban areas in that they are less affected by background noise. They must be used by trained and skilled personnel. wet or damp patches. provides the most efficient and effective means of leak localisation. and water entering gullies or manholes. portability and performance of Leak Noise Correlators has continuously improved over recent years and they are now employed as an essential part of a leakage control programme. and are in direct contact with the water. To sound such areas manually usually requires that the work is carried out at night.5 Confirmation Where correlators locate leakage without previous use of sounding equipment. 9. moss on ground or walls. the insertion of a rod or bar may immediately reveal leaking water. 80 . 9. Leak noise correlators continue to be the principal method of leak location. leakage location can be helped by other signs such as increased growth of vegetation. can be achieved by use of hydrophone sensors. their use as a survey tool is declining due to the emergence of noise loggers. together with electronic listening devices. location. melted snow or frost.3 Visual Evidence Apart from the obvious emergence of trickling/running water. water is the sound transmission medium rather than the pipe wall. and hence additional costs for overtime working are involved.g. Using these sensors sounds can be picked up over distances of 1 km or more. and preferably by people who are using the equipment regularly. or other ‘wet’ fittings. Reliability. This technique requires less manpower than conventional sounding. and confirmation. in which the machine will search for a correlation without the need for the operator to enter the normal information required for a leak location (e. it would be normal to seek some confirmation by use of a ground microphone. Typical operating distances are as follows: cast iron/ductile iron asbestos cement uPVC medium density polyethylene 600m 220m 150m 100m An improvement in sensitivity. The combination of the two methods. and the sensitivity of the particular correlator and sensor. However.4 Other Practical Points The answers to the following and similar questions may have some bearing on the method chosen to locate the leakage: • • • • Is the leakage likely to be a burst main or several leaking fittings or pipes? Does the area contain industry? Will customers be affected by a valve inspection? Can meters be logged? Can the area be worked in normal working hours or does traffic density and noise necessitate nighttime or weekend working? What are the age and pipe materials in the area? What is the previous burst history? 9. Thus.

but is likely to develop.6. preferably on a database. It is sometimes overlooked that leaking pipes and fittings can give rise to water ingress during negative pressure incidents (e.6. be on the consumers’ pipework.1 Repair. These should be adjusted downwards where appropriate. Leakage detection activities will only retain their credibility if leaks are repaired quickly.9. There have been limitations from both the Employer’s and the Contractor’s point of view. particularly in the case of joint supply pipes where questions of responsibility have to be resolved.3 Repair Records It is essential that all repairs of bursts and leaks are accurately and comprehensively recorded. and further supplemented by additional sections to cover the needs of individual Employers. another ‘patrol’ will reveal this information. Work to produce a Model Form of Contract is ongoing. Many of the leaks will. If permanent noise loggers are installed. This can be a difficult process.6. 9. Follow-Up and Records General Having located leakage.7 Leakage Contracts The use of Contractors in leakage work is relatively new in the UK. Various forms of contract have been tried. so it is expected there will be a move from an adversarial style of contract to a more co-operative approach. in the vicinity of a large burst). Basic sections on Conditions and Technical Specification will be supplemented by specialist sections for different types. Night flows should be immediately checked after repair work. it is necessary to ensure that it is quickly and efficiently repaired. of course. in which case it may take very much longer to get the leak repaired.2 Follow-up After Repair Having repaired the located leaks. A number of different payment options will be included. Employers and Contractors are working together on this. it is good practice to re-sound in the immediate vicinity of the repair to check that the previous leak was not masking other leakage.g. ‘Partnering’ will be a key word. and compared to DMA ‘norms’. Ingress brings the risk of pollution and hence reinforces the need for prompt repair of all known leaks. The total leakage volume is directly related to the length of time leaks are left running. 9.6 9. from simple ‘Detection’ to ‘Payment by Results’. 81 . This information should include: • • • • • • • • Location DMA reference Date Size Type of burst Mains/service pipe material Type of repair Was burst reported or detected? 9.

These generally have a higher capital cost and are a potential contamination risk. high rise flats. car washing etc • Reduce the frequency of bursts. On account of this they are no longer used in the UK. or transferring demand zones to an alternative source with a lower overall head. Even where already practised. They operate by converting fluid pressures into electrical signals. Installation of break pressure tanks. and possibly eliminating certain household plumbing problems. Many methods of measurement are in usage. • Enable a company to standardise on pipes and fittings which have a lower pressure rating.g. and are therefore cheaper. Pressure measurement typically takes place for: • • • • • General monitoring of the distribution system Specific monitoring at critical points (levels of service) Particular consumer problems of inadequate pressure Co-ordination with particular flow tests e. mechanical pressure control devices. 10. industrial consumers. and local system alterations.3 Pressure Control Benefits Pressure control can: • Reduce leakage • Reduce pressure-related consumption such as hand-washing. This may include boosting to a smaller. but pressure transducers have become the most common means in distribution systems. Pressure reduction is probably the simplest and most immediate way of reducing leakage within the distribution system. or closed loop control using flow or pressure signals. it is likely to be worthwhile to re-examine and reset equipment and schemes to take advantage of progressive technical developments. and unnecessarily high pressures raise customers expectations and perceptions of what is adequate.1 PRESSURE MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT Pressure Measurement Pressure is one of the most frequently measured parameters in the Water Industry. • Provide a more constant service to customers – large diurnal pressure variations may give customers an impression of a poorly managed service. • Assist demand management when flow restriction is necessary i. The following options should be considered first: • Re-zoning the area supplied to match input head to topography and minimise system losses. Network analysis could greatly facilitate this investigation. typically PRV’s. This could include resizing pumps to match known demands. reinforcing or reconditioning mains to allow low pressure zones to be extended. In fact. during drought. decreasing the possibility of pipework movement and fatigue type failures. at least in the immediate future – subsequent savings in repair costs can exceed those due to reduced leakage • Stabilise pressure. new housing estates. often being measured alongside flow.e. Pressure management can be accomplished in a number of ways and not just via the installation of a new pressure reduction valve (PRV). 10. the generation of pressure almost always costs money. Its benefits are immediate. critical area. provide the next stage in a pressure control strategy. Matching pump output curves to closely match distribution demands. so reducing pressure by means of a PRV is intrinsically inefficient. fire fighting installations and fire hydrants Network analysis calibration 10. • • Having considered these three options. 82 .10. or staged or variable speed pumping.2 Pressure Control Options Pressure management is a major element in a leakage management strategy.

Flow and pressure tests at the property affected will reveal the location of the problem which can then be dealt with in the normal way. Some of these can be designed out of the system. • Noise Noise can be a problem close to PRV installations. Valves without close mechanical tolerances are less susceptible to this type of failure. • High-Rise Buildings Ordnance survey data alone is insufficient in planning an area from a topographical point of view – a tall building survey should be undertaken. • 83 . Partly closed stop taps and valves are a typical problem. in particular. Noise through a PRV does create difficulties for leak detection work in the vicinity because of its interference. Noise is usually associated with small valve openings and may be associated with cavitation problems. Attention to the maintenance of filters and correct flushing are necessary to avoid blockages in distribution systems which are prone to solids contamination. Strainers upstream of the PRV will also help • Va l v e O p e r a t i o n Closing of valves between the PRV and a remote pressure monitoring point will result in the PRV attempting to rectify the apparent loss of pressure at the remote point. They may also occur by the setting up of the PRV area severing the normal interlinking of the system. Poor pressures may also be the result of pipework simply being undersized. In areas where existing flats rely upon a highpressure mains supply. This may result in failure of the control and actuating mechanism and loss of pressure control. are listed below. This can result. In addition. and their consequences.monthly basis. • P o o r P re s s u re In correctly configured systems this is typically a result of restrictions and blockages of individual supplies. • P re s s u re a n d F l o w S u r g e s Under certain circumstances surges of pressure and flow can cause unpredictable PRV behaviour. with certain valves. Attention to pipework detail and valve settings can reduce noise levels but it is best avoided by correct selection and siting. This should be assessed beforehand at the area design stage.4 Pressure Reduction Problems Some examples of the problems that can potentially arise. This situation should be avoided by ensuring that Inspectors. Typically this occurs when valves are shut in the course of a routine repair. perhaps through corrosion. are aware of pressure control systems and follow appropriate procedures before closing critical valves. It is generally recommended that planned preventative maintenance be carried out on a six. pressure reduction may only be possible if the Supplier is willing to bear costs of pumping and plumbing modifications. in the piston exceeding its travel and jamming in the fully open or closed position. the lowering of pressures may cause the boosters to operate more regularly. The results of exposing the system to maximum pressures at moderate flows will usually be a series of burst mains. Usually.10. leading to excessively high or low pressures. Where small boosters are already feeding multistorey buildings. the surges which cause this type of failure result from valve or pump operations which should be examined to minimise the risk. Blockages Blockages can occur as a result of mains material becoming trapped in the PRV. the provision of ‘stops’ to limit the travel in mechanical systems can be helpful. Network models can also be used to simulate valve closures prior to operation on site to help understand how the system will react.

leakage is expected to be related to the square root of the pressure at the leakage point. and possibly in some plastic pipes).3. This suggests that intensive leakage detection should be carried out before pressure reduction is implemented. An appropriate balance must thus be found for sensitive areas. and are used to estimate the potential leakage savings from the introduction of pressure reduction. Obviously. leaving the conclusion that there is no universal pressure/leakage relationship. holes and cracks in metal pipes).2 and 10. • Costs PRVs work best as a single feed to a DMA. otherwise leakage which could be found could instead be rendered undetectable (or more costly to find). indicated that. The significance of these two effects will vary with the topography of the area and the DMA. the effects of pressure were greater than this and approached a linear relationship.1 illustrates the relationships between these points in the distribution system. 84 . in practice. or b) the pump outlet pressure in pumped systems The difference in level between the source of supply and the point of delivery The frictional losses between the system inlet and outlet There is often confusion between absolute and residual head when discussing pressure. Technical staff can usefully discuss such problems with consumers beforehand and find individual solutions.• Specialist Consumers Particular care must be taken in consideration of pressure reduction on the effect on home dialysis units (they may simply be able to be adjusted) and industrial consumers who use processes dependent on existing mains pressures. Theoretically. It has understandably been argued that there are two types of leak aperture.g.5 Pressure and Leakage Consideration of a basic hydraulic map indicates that the residual pressure at any point in the system depends on: • • • The input hydraulic head of the zone resulting from either: a) the supplying reservoir level in gravity systems. See Figures 10. the less leakage. or who have sprinkler systems requiring pressure in excess of that required. and the size and condition of the mains. frequency and cost of leak detection. . The prime reason for leak detection effort in such a case becomes one of responding to low pressure complaints caused by leakage rather than to save water and money directly. this relationship has produced mixed results. Time must then be allowed to make the required changes. the lower the pressure. The pressure within a DMA (for example) will therefore vary geographically with elevation and pipe configuration (longer. • 10. Field work undertaken in the UK at the end of the 1970s. The installation of a PRV may therefore incur extra expenditure to convert the area being supplied to a single feed system. each unique system having its own. but the greater the need.g. This means that the actual benefit achieved from a particular pressure reduction can be considerably greater than predicted. Figure 10. the variability of demand. one that keeps its size (e. A d d i t i o n a l Active Leakage Detection It should be noted that in the long run. The Fire Service function will also be affected by pressure reduction. leaks at joints and fittings. It will also vary with demand as higher flows and velocities also result in higher pressure losses. Lower pressures also mean leakage is more difficult to actually detect because the noise of escaping water is less intense. thus negating potential benefit. smaller pipes generate more frictional head loss). co-ordinated by the Water Research Centre. However. less ‘spare’ pressure exists before consumers complain. and one that changes with pressure (e. which attempt to define the relationship between pressure and leakage.

Another reason for greater than expected leakage at higher pressures may be due to a change in the effect of the surrounding backfill material. Clearly, more research work is needed to better understand the pressure/leakage relationship. It should also be noted that pressure is generally at a maximum overnight, when flow and friction losses are at a minimum. It follows therefore that proportionally more leakage reduction will occur at night when pressure control is implemented. It is for this reason that the previously mentioned ‘20 hour rule’ is used, whereby measured savings per hour at night should only be multiplied by 20, not 24 to derive a daily total.


Statutory Requirements and Levels of Service
In the UK, under the terms of the Water Industry Act 1991, it is the duty of a Water Supplier to ‘cause the water in its mains and other pipes to be laid on constantly, and at such a pressure as will cause the water to reach the top of the topmost storey of every building within the Supplier’s area’. This specifically refers to: i) ii) Supplies of water for domestic purposes Mains which have hydrants fixed to them

The Water Supplier’s duty however is limited to supplying water to a height no greater than that to which it will flow by gravity from the service reservoir or tank, and the Supplier is free to select which reservoir or tank is used. If any house requires water to be delivered at a height greater than l0.5m below the draw-off level of the reservoir, the Supplier may require the installation of a cistern capable of holding up to 24 hrs storage. The above requirements mean that, in the UK, a Water Supplier does not legally have to supply water to every building regardless of elevation. He would normally do so, however, but would re-charge for all necessary expenditure in these exceptional circumstances. A reference level of service (LoS) has to be provided of 10 metres head, at the customer’s boundary, at a flow of 9 litres/minute for a single property, measured on the customers side of any metre, boundary box or other fitting. Checking compliance against this standard could require excavation etc. and is clearly impractical for widespread compliance testing. Many UK Suppliers have therefore adopted a surrogate pressure reference. This is the pressure in an adjacent distribution system i.e. the nearest hydrant which can be shown statistically to deliver 9 litres/minute without the pressure falling below 10m at the stop tap. The actual surrogate pressure used varies between Suppliers, but whatever the target minimum is, it needs to be available at the critical point in the area, and should allow for future increases in demand, and deterioration of the network.


Identification of Areas for Pressure Reduction
General Before schemes for pressure are implemented, it is important to collect and keep data on uncontrolled networks. Without this data it will not be possible to appraise completed schemes, and it will then be more difficult to design and justify future projects. Pressure data over a seven-day period is needed preferably in graphical and digital form. Actual pressures occurring in a potential PRV area should be determined by deploying temporary pressure loggers. Pressure loggers should be sited at critical points within DMA areas which are often but not always at the highest point AOD. The peak and minimum flows should be determined.


25 metres head is commonly considered in the UK as a normal desirable maximum at the target point. However, practical and physical requirements, for example topographical features, may dictate that pressures as high as 75m must be tolerated at some properties. Mains pressure reduction should be investigated for areas where night time pressure can be reduced by at least l0m. Where local pressures exceed 75m and cannot be reduced, then pressure management should be considered for individual properties or sub-groups of properties. Use should be made of available network analysis models and information to assist in the identification, planning and design of prospective areas for proposed pressure reduction. These will normally be where the pressure always exceeds 30m at the critical point in the DMA at maximum demand. Account must be taken of the most sensitive customer location and the stability of the PRV likely to be installed at low flows. Peak week and seasonal demands also need to be allowed for. It should be remembered also that some areas do contract in demand as industry and population move location. Other ‘signposts’ which may indicate areas worthy of further investigation are: • • • • • • • 10.7.2 Areas suffering from pressure bursts or high pressure complaints Reservoir outlets, even though the scope may be limited Uncontrolled branches on trunk mains Multi-feed areas with some or all feeds not pressure controlled Areas requiring high day pressure but low night pressure, for which flow modulation may be the most appropriate New developments/extensions to existing system Local knowledge.

Existing Pressure Reduced Areas If local pressure management already exists, it is possible that the application of latest generation equipment can optimise savings. Such applications range from the complete replacement of an existing PRV to the addition of retrofit devices to enhance performance. For example, replacing conventional fixed outlet PRVs with flow modulated equipment presents the opportunity to optimise district pressures across changing demand profiles. As the following illustration shows, pressure profiles can be achieved which reduce pressures for most of a typical day, but allow increased pressure at peak demand.

LOS at target consumer Level of Service (LOS) (m) Local peak demand period

Flow modulated PRV











11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Time Hours


20 21 22 23 MNT


Results of replacing a conventional PRV with a flow modulated PRV This example is taken from an actual installation. Benefits are twofold. Average daily metered throughput to the district decreased by 20%, and pressures at the target point were improved at peak demand. Result: rapid payback of investment, reduction in leakage, reduced incidence of burst mains and reduced customer complaints. It is worth noting that existing pressure management installations may well be lacking in maintenance which can impair and even nullify their performance. Items which require regular checks, and, if necessary, corresponding alterations in PRV settings are: • • • • Status of boundary valves Extensions at margins of PRV area, i.e. additional properties/roads/streets, above design setting. Additions/changes to consumption profile within defined area, i.e. new housing site or changing industrial consumption. Regular checks on PRV inlet/outlet settings to confirm profile against design settings.


Pressure Reducing Valves - General Overview
A pressure reducing valve (PRV) can be defined as a mechanical device which will give a reduced outlet (downstream) pressure for a range of flow rates and upstream pressures. All PRVs have certain features in common. These are a means of controlling the flow (the valve), a means of sensing the pressure differential between the inlet and the outlet, and a means of actuating the valve. A variety of more or less sophisticated means of providing these features have been developed by manufacturers. The two principal categories of PRV are fixed outlet and flow-modulated, each with several variations. Generally, fixed outlet characteristics maintain approximately the same value of downstream pressure over a range of flowrates. The pressure has to be set so that level of service (LOS) pressure is maintained at the target point for the maximum design flowrate. The resultant average zone night pressure (AZNP) will be at a higher value than a flow modulated pressure in a similar system since in the latter case pressures can be optimised for minimum demand. In reality, some fixed outlet valves are not always capable of maintaining a constant outlet pressure, particularly at low flow when some rise in outlet pressure can be experienced. A ‘pilot’ can assist in providing the necessary variable throttling effect to keep a constant outlet pressure as inlet pressures and flows vary. Two pilots with a timed changeover can give a ‘day’ and ‘night’ setting of outlet pressure. Flow-modulated PRV’s vary the outlet pressure in such a manner that a constant head can be maintained at a target point in the distribution system for a range of flow rates and inlet pressures. The activating mechanism responsible for regulating the outlet pressure may be mechanical or electronic, or a combination of both. ‘Look-up’ tables or telemetry may be involved in the outlet pressure control. Figures 10.4 and 10.5 demonstrate the effect of the two basic types of valve on a critical point in the downstream distribution system. Generally speaking, where head losses across the target area exceed l0m (night time/no flow pressure minus day-time peak flow pressure) flow-modulated devices will provide greater net benefit (in spite of the extra cost), and are to be preferred. Because of advances in control practice and communications, control systems for PRVs are becoming more complex and more effective. The valves are now fitted primarily to reduce leakage and to some extent pressure dependent consumption, rather than the traditional reason of protecting the downstream infrastructure. It should be noted that in some cases where old mains systems are combined with high pressures, leakage reductions cannot be maintained until pressure is reduced, because the effect of


repairing a burst is to increase the pressure in the system, possibly causing further bursts. The effectiveness and accuracy of the PRV’s will normally increase as the control system becomes more sophisticated. More sophisticated control systems are also better able to respond to unexpected demands. PRV technology is still developing, and whilst the most common method of control is still local hydraulic operation, controlled operation by intelligent process units is becoming more economic, even for smaller areas. These units do not necessarily need pre-designed pressure profiles to follow, but will ‘learn’ one insitu from the real, dynamic network they are operating, always assuming they are in contact with signals from the critical pressure point(s).


1 Hydraulic Gradient RESERVOIR P GRA DIE NT HYD RAU LIC Pmax GROUND LEVEL P P B C A DATUM POINT .A. Distribution pressures will be less than Pmax (at lowest ground level) due to frictional losses in mains. Pressure at point B must satisfy Level of Service criteria.D NOTES 1. fittings etc. 4. Mains at point C will need boosting.Figure 10. Reduce pressure in the valley bottom (point A) to reduce leakage. 3.O. 2. 89 .

2 Leakage Increase with Pressure 0 20 40 90 60 PRESSURE (m) 80 100 .Figure 10.

Figure 10.3 Relationship between Leakage and Pressure 100 90 80 70 60 LEAKAGE INDEX 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 20 40 60 80 AVERAGE ZONE NIGHT PRESSURE (m) 100 91 .

5 Pressure Gradient to Critical Point Gradient at minimum flow (fixed outlet PRV) Gradien t at minim um flow (all PRV’s) Head AOD At PRV outlet Excess level of service Level of service Gradient at minimum flow (flow modulated PRV’s) Ground Level Ordnance Datum Critical head AOD Ground Level Distance from PRV 92 .Figure 10.4 Diurnal Pressure Variation at Critical Point No PRV fitted Fixed outlet PRV Flow modulated 12 14 16 18 20 22 MNT 2 4 6 TIME (24hrs) 8 10 12 Figure 10.

including an assessment of the environmental benefits. These can include targets based on minimum night flows.11. Thus there is a need to examine each system to determine the most appropriate method of leakage control and to plan the required capital investment. The ELL is not fixed for all time. and reducing leakage is seen as a means of saving money. will develop a greater understanding of the factors which are important to target setting. the cost of detecting and repairing leaks will fall as new technology is introduced. This has given rise to a broader concept of ‘the most appropriate leakage target’. unless the water can be sold to other Suppliers. Water Suppliers must therefore strike a balance between the cost of reducing leakage and the value of the water saved. it is likely to be uneconomical to set the same target leakage levels for areas of differing characteristics. any Supplier who is prepared to commit resources to collecting the required data. and to carry out the analysis and appraisals. which will vary over time. and can provide clear information upon which sound management decisions may be based. it is not possible to generalise to provide standardised formulae for setting leakage targets. or fall into the trap of setting leakage targets themselves without full consideration of the practicalities of achieving them. a level of leakage which provides the most economic mix of leakage related costs. For example.1 THE ECONOMICS OF LEAKAGE MANAGEMENT Introduction Water Suppliers must be seen to be operating efficiently and effectively. Leakage is often seen as synonymous with waste. it is recognised that there may be social.” 93 . whilst adequately providing a low risk of security of supply to customers. The latter depends on the long run marginal costs of augmenting supplies by alternative means. mains rehabilitation. and the Supplier can then set targets for leakage control in conjunction with other corporate policies on customer metering. Conversely. if total demand falls to a point where there is a large surplus of water. Due to the complexity of the issues. Water lost through leakage has a value and so reducing the level of leakage offers benefits. being described as “that level of leakage which. However. and the benefits which are expected to accrue. It depends on a wide range of factors. over a long term planning horizon. There are many possible ways of setting a leakage target. resource development and pressure control.e. To do so they will need to appraise the investment required for these various different supply and demand management solutions. environmental and political factors which dictate the target leakage level. eliminating leakage completely is impracticable and the cost of reducing it to low levels may exceed the cost of producing the water saved. pressure. Conversely. or the economic consequences. as well as economic ones related to the Suppliers’ own operating environment. i. leakage levels will rise to levels where the cost of the water lost predominates. The setting of economic targets. This means that leakage reduction should be pursued to the point where the long run marginal cost of leakage control is equal to the long run marginal benefit of the water saved. provides the least cost combination of demand management and resource development. when little effort is expended on active leakage control. is independent of variations in physical factors such as property density. particularly to their customers who want to see their costs minimised. The level of leakage at which it would cost more to make further reductions than to produce the water from another source is what is known as the economic level of leakage (ELL). This will cause the ELL to fall. and must be able to cost justify their level of leakage and works designed to manage leakage. Operating at economic levels of leakage means that the total cost to the customer of supplying water is minimised. Once the economic optimum level is known. 11. it may not be economic to reduce leakage. However. areas with excess pressure. and Suppliers are operating efficiently. However. etc. Even if the same leakage policy is pursued. They will also be less likely to have unrealistic or uneconomic targets imposed on them from outside. areas with expensive water or the most urbanised areas. manpower and revenue resource. and not unduly over-abstracting water from the environment. this can be compared to the present level of leakage.

a consistent approach is essential. Operating a water supply area at the optimum will result in a mix of costs for leakage control and the value of lost water that gives the lowest possible cost. preferably for the water supply zone. but nevertheless demonstrate the principles and progression needed for informed. The cost to the Supplier of control and repair will be different. depending on current policy.B. is an essential factor in assessing real progress as the implementation of the leakage detection and control policy proceeds. and the technology employed. a precise definition is not necessary.1 Policy Development Through An Economic Approach Economic Target The economic target is considered to be that level of leakage that provides the lowest overall annual cost. The cost of water lost will include both those elements of losses that occur on the distribution system and that from customers’ supply pipes. and the cost of the measures proposed to effect the change. including on-costs and overhead allowances. Repair costs are largely driven by the rate at which bursts occur. 11. Repair costs are not directly required for an economic evaluation but are used to calculate the cost of reducing leakage when changing leakage control policy.2 11.2. should be developed for repairs on mains.N. In other words where the cost of reducing leakage by one m3of water equals the value of that m3 of water. An investment appraisal is necessary. 11. including overheads.3 The Optimum Level of Leakage The optimum level of leakage may be defined as that level of leakage where the marginal cost of active leakage control (ALC) equals the marginal cost of the leaking water. Costs should not include other distribution activities such as levels of service requirements and water quality related work. The Tables and Figures in this section are only illustrative of the sort of procedures. They should not be used in a ‘literal’ way. therefore. Repair costs on supply pipes may be recovered from the customer. it is necessary to use total losses in the water supply zone. but both these elements need to be considered.2.2 Assessment of Current Leakage Level and Leakage Control Costs The precise nature of the method used to identify the level of leakage in the water supply zone is of secondary importance. A unit cost of repair. 11. As before. detection and location. Operating at any other combination will be more expensive.2. The frequent monitoring of all costs. The cost of active leakage control is made up of costs associated with leakage monitoring. depending where leakage occurs. 94 . communication pipes and supply pipes. but to enable comparisons to be made between water supply zones. cost-related decisions. Economically. the potential savings and other benefits of moving to a different level of leakage. to examine the costs of operating the water supply system with the present level of leakage. Costs for these activities should be made up of appropriate staff costs. They are themselves now out of date for the UK. The critical aspects are consistency between areas for comparative purposes and an understanding of the accuracy of measurement. data gathering and analysis that a Water Supplier needs to give attention to in order to move towards optimum economic efficiency in leakage control. since they need ‘re-configuring’ for the local cost environment . They will be similar for any approach to leakage control and therefore do not need to be considered in a calculation of the optimum level of leakage.

for example. The concept of an optimum level of leakage can be presented graphically in terms of costs against level of leakage (see Figure 11. and the only leaks running are those which cannot be detected by the current method of active leakage control.2. if the leakage level in an area is 40m3/property/year. Additionally. levels of leakage could range between two extremes: • A base level of leakage where all bursts are repaired. The marginal cost of active leakage control is the cost. if no money were spent on ALC. and the cost of active leakage control is £2. then the marginal cost of the active leakage control is 50 pence/m3/property at that level of leakage. Methods with lower operating costs. which typifies this curve. Adding these two curves identifies a minimum point of expenditure which is referred to as the optimum level of leakage. will generate a lower optimum level than more intensive methods such as regular sounding. operating pressure. from a Passive leakage control curve like that illustrated by Figure 11. at an unspecified pressure.) • Between these two extremes is the actual level of leakage and the cost of ALC in the water supply area. Having collected data on the cost of water and the cost of active leakage control for a level of leakage. On the first graph. Each water supply zone will have its own optimum level depending on the cost of water.. since it based on UK data from the late 1970s. given an assessment of the intrinsic leakage level. For example.50 to reduce leakage to 39m3/property/year. The difficulty in calculating the actual or marginal cost of leakage control is that only one point is known.1. which is illustrative only). then if the cost increases to £2. and 24 hour supply. in any one global water supply zone there will be different optimum levels depending on the method of active leakage control and the efficiency with which the method is implemented. Conversely where leakage activities (and costs) increase the level of leakage will reduce. The marginal cost of water is fixed by the most expensive source of water and is the cost that would be saved by reducing the water supplied by. which is also based upon UK data. it is possible to prepare graphs as presented in Figure 11. namely the current operating conditions. to give a form of ALC cost curve as illustrated in Figure 11. can be approximated to by measuring the level attained following an intensive programme of detection and repair in a specific area. such as telemetered district metering.There is not one global optimum level of leakage. This is the passive level of leakage and can be obtained. therefore.1. of reducing leakage by one more cubic metre. Total and marginal cost follow the curves shown in Figure 1 where the costs increase in some exponential form as the level of leakage is reduced. 11. and is taken from the UKWIR ‘Managing Leakage’ Reports: 95 . the age and condition of the mains network and the location of bursts whether on the mains. at a given level of leakage.00/property/year. the additional cost required to reduce leakage levels in an area by one unit. communication pipes or supplies. Before any economic optimum can be derived. the curves show that as leakage increases the value of water lost increases and the effort spent on ALC is small. the cost of labour. The optimum level of leakage in any scenario is where the two marginal costs are equal. the level of leakage would be that controlled by customer-reported bursts. (This Figure should be taken as illustrative only. The optimum level of leakage and the optimum spend on leakage control can be defined through an intensification of the current method of control.2. The second graph shows the same curves in terms of their marginal costs. This base. or intrinsic level. a method to estimate costs away from the current level must be established. At the other extreme. one cubic metre. An equation can be produced based on the two extremes and the actual data point. Measurement of the current leakage level and cost will give sufficient information to use the following equation. A possible approach is to assume that in any water supply zone.4 Calculation of Optimum Level of Leakage The marginal cost of leakage control is.3.

Lb)) Where d is a constant.Total cost of leakage control = C = (-1/d) 1n ((L . including installation of PRV’s or district meters.2. communication pipes and supply pipes. it is recommended that an economic optimum level of leakage review should be conducted at this time (or annually. broken down between detection. The timing of any new operational stability will be dependent on the completion of the repairs to the backlog of leaks. Cost of new equipment installation. corresponding to any given level of resource input. can only be confirmed when the new policy is implemented. Data collection and recording systems should be established for each water supply zone covering the following information: • • • • • • Man hours spent on active leakage control. overall repair costs will return to the level that existed before. m3/prop/yr cost of leakage control. The assessment of the optimum level of leakage then will reflect the cost of water and the new shape of the relationship between the cost of active leakage control and the leakage level.Lb)/(Lp . m3/prop/yr actual cost of leakage control for the area. m3/prop/yr Once a graph has been drawn. For each water supply zone subject to a change of policy. £/prop/yr base level of leakage.5 Implementation and Performance Monitoring The final element in developing a new leakage control strategy is implementation and performance monitoring. This process will establish the optimum economic level of leakage for the chosen control method. In each case there will be a series of one off costs to establish the new approach. £/prop/yr actual level of leakage for the area. m3/prop/yr passive level of leakage. then once this ‘backlog’ of leak repairs has been made. at any level of leakage. The possible exception to this is that pressure reduction could produce a new. The marginal cost of active leakage control.Lb)/(Lp . It is equally possible to conduct similar studies to investigate the effect of pressure control or changing to a new method of active leakage control if there is a need to reduce leakage further. Costs associated with burst repairs will remain constant for any area in steady state conditions. Assuming that burst occurrences remain constant over time. district reconfiguration and backlog of repairs. and hence calculate the optimum level of control activity.Lb)) The other terms are as follows: L C La Ca Lb Lp = = = = = = level of leakage. but it is likely that by intensifying the method of active leakage control. staff training. Performance should be monitored through a programme of robust data collection. it is possible to estimate the level of leakage. whichever is the shorter time). 96 . and = (-1/Ca) 1n ((La . lower level of burst occurrence. zone configuration and staff training Power and chemicals (pumping and treatment) Once any new policy is implemented it will take a period of time before its operation settles down. location and equipment maintenance Level of leakage Information on bursts Repair costs and frequencies on mains. This ‘one-off’ cost of repairs should be included in any project appraisal study. To move to the optimum level of leakage will require a one-off additional expenditure on burst repairs. an increasing number of background leaks will be found and include in the repairs. This will investigate whether the theoretical optimum has been achieved in reality and may provide valuable information for future leakage policy development. 11. The calculation of the above optimum level assumes that the method of active leakage control and system pressure is held constant.

the unit cost. Usually the reduction will be made in the most expensive source. and all other costs associated with the determination of leakage control policies. Thus the net present value of one year’s deferment of capital costs is multiplied by the discount rate to convert it to an annual equivalent.some of these are flow related Damage payments made by the Water Supplier as a result of leakage Costs of dealing with leakage related customer complaints It may be considered reasonable to add 5 to 10% for these elements. If the operating cost.3. but the extent to which this is possible will depend on the particular supply and distribution system configuration. it simplifies subsequent cost comparisons. 11. good project management demands good post-project appraisal if the right conclusions are to be reached for future planning. such a deferment would be a major element in arguing the case for more leakage control development. insofar as leakage is concerned. 97 . and certainly requires persistence and discipline to achieve and keep up to date the level of information required.3.1 The Unit Cost of Leakage General The unit cost of leakage is made up of two principal factors – operating cost and capital cost. and then divided by the value of one year’s growth to produce the unit capital cost. is the marginal cost of pumping (source. Having determined the sources to be reduced. Nonetheless. A reduction in leakage equivalent to one year’s growth will enable all these costs to be deferred by one year.It will be evident from the above that performance monitoring in itself carries its own costs. source works. including wages .3. Whilst not relevant in every case. 11.3 Unit Capital Cost The capital cost element is determined by estimating the cost of future capital works required to satisfy growth in demand.3 11. the unit operating cost can be calculated as follows:Unit Operating Cost Unit Pumping Cost Unit Treatment Cost Unit Purchase Cost for bulk supplies = + /// This operating cost does not include any allowance for the following: • • • Other source operation costs.2 Unit Operating Cost The unit operating cost. Thus it is necessary firstly to estimate the likely extent of the savings so that for a given system those supplies and sources whose output will be reduced in the event of a reduction in leakage can be identified. are calculated as an annual unit cost. In order to most easily compare the costs of the various leakage control methods available. These costs are discounted to produce a total current cost equivalent. and any distribution) and treatment. 11. The normal requirement is to calculate the value of water likely to be saved by improved leakage control. The last unit of leakage is likely to be more expensive than the first as in general it will be supplied by the most expensive source. costs are converted to an annual unit cost. or in the case of bulk purchases.

reliable data to compile a similar graph for their own situation. m3/day In addition to the capital cost.) Figure 11. as previously explained.2 now requires amendment anyway. is likely to have a significant effect. There is less distinction now between the various methods of metering. and are much improved.1 Cost of Leakage Detection General Having determined the unit cost of the water. it is also necessary to include fixed operating costs when calculating the total capital cost (TDCC). it is also of course necessary to calculate how much of it can be saved and how much it will cost to do so. Technological advances mean that Figure 11. The intersection of this vertical line with the lines representing the other methods of control gives the net night flow applicable to each of those methods. as these costs will also be deferred if schemes are put back in the programme. a vertical line is drawn. Alternatively.2. Water Suppliers (or national groupings) need their own local. Permanent acoustic logging is another new dimension. 98 .4. the value of deferral for one year might be considered to sensibly be 5% of the capital value divided by the first year forecast growth in demand. given the present economic climate in the UK. the intrinsic level will be high. At the point where this line crosses the passive control line. The average burst rate will also provide a clue to the correct level.2 Leakage Estimates Associated with Detection Methods It is possible to estimate the resulting level of leakage applicable to each detection method in a simple way by the use of a graph like Figure 11. or frequency of existing control.4. £ r = discount rate d = yearly growth in demand. Clearly. If some form of active control is being carried out.The formula is: Unit Capital Cost = (TDCC x r2) ÷ [(l + r) x 365 x d] In £/m3 Where TDCC = Total discounted capital cost. If much of the system is relatively new and ground conditions are nonaggressive then the intrinsic level will be low.4 11. The average net night flow for the system is measured and a horizontal line is drawn on the graph at this flow. (In simplified terms. In such cases some judgement is required in assessing the true intrinsic leakage level.2 is straightforward.4 illustrates the way in which reduction in leakage achieves deferment of capital expenditure. if the system consists predominantly of old unlined iron mains in aggressive soil conditions. use of Figure 11. Where passive control is currently exercised. which is based on experimental data gathered from across the UK in the late 1970s. and in practice a more modern and sensitive version of District Metering is normally employed. These factors depend upon the method of leakage detection employed and the frequency at which it is employed. the level of activity. 11. LNCs are used much more now. the intrinsic level of any area will also depend on the physical characteristics of the system and on the average system pressure. Lower levels of leakage are also attainable now because of the improved sensitivity achieved by modern meters and loggers. 11.

as noted. and must be taken into account The average system pressure will affect the intrinsic leakage level . However. and assuming a discount rate of 5%.It must also be noted that: Unusual weather conditions may affect the burst rate.1. and this can be conveniently illustrated by Figures 11. This is done by converting the initial costs to annual costs by multiplying by the chosen discount rate. A doubling of the detection frequency does not double the leakage saved.5 Annual Cost of Detection Methods These costs will comprise of three elements.6.5 and 11. 11. 99 . In the compilation of Table 11. As previously mentioned. the frequencies adopted will have an impact on the net night flow achieved. depend on the frequency with which the various leakage control tasks are carried out. and also on the required maintenance frequencies.5. The annual operating cost will. and hence reduced leakage. Clearly.4 Frequency of Detection Activity Leakage estimates and annual costs of methods will be dependent on the frequencies of detection activities. which include purchase of equipment and installation of meters The initial cost of applying the chosen method throughout the system The annual operating cost. which normally applies during the day.2 are not related to pressure.2 shows typical UK costs for these three elements. 11. which will include manpower costs.3 Annual Cost of Leakage Estimates Having determined the likely net night flow for a leakage control method.4.4 shows typical total annual costs calculated for each method based on the data in the previous tables. and then adding the annual operating cost. this takes account of the lower pressure. Recommended frequencies from UK research in 1980 are reproduced in Table 11. The volume of water saved is shown by the shaded portion of the graph in Figure 11. the recommended frequencies of Table 11. the annual cost of leakage for each can be calculated as follows bearing in mind that net night flow on the graph includes legitimate domestic use. maintenance. 11. estimated in the UK at 21/property/hr: Annual Cost (£ per prop) = (leakage x 20 x 365 x C) /100. and could be misleading if they are not carefully considered in the light of the ‘local’ conditions and more modern technology.3 details the component parts of the annual costs in terms of man-hours per task.1 have been assumed. as noted above.4. Table 11.2. In this case the additional saving in leakage is shown hatched and is equal to half the previous saving. it is necessary to calculate the total annual cost of each method. the law of diminishing returns will apply.4.000 Where leakage is in 1/prop/hr and C is the unit annual cost of leakage in pence/m3 Note that a factor of 20 is used to convert from a night flow to a daily average figure. namely: (a) (b) (c) Initial setting up costs. and replacement of equipment Table 11. Table 11.thus a medium burst rate and high average system pressure will give rise to relatively high intrinsic leakage levels It should be again emphasised that the figures in Figure 11. Having determined the costs of the above components.

the difference between the various methods of active control is likely to be small and can be ignored. They may. have a significant bearing on a leakage level target. 11. that they are not explored in this section. In moving from the current leakage level to a reduced level.5. however. The assumptions made in performing the calculations mean that differences in total leakage cost of less than 10% are not significant. for a given distribution system. the rate at which leaks occur will not be affected by the chosen method. has been included in Table 11.6 Environmental and Social Costs These costs are so specific to individual situations.2 The annual detection costs are based on the recommended frequencies in Table 11. Thus once the method has been fully implemented and the corresponding leakage level established.2 Initial costs of each method are as shown in Table 11. The major difference is between passive and active control. Thus the choice between two methods with cost differences of less than 10% must be based on other factors. it is clear that passive control is only economic at low unit leakage costs or where intrinsic leakage levels are low. 11. based on the 1980 UK research. it will be necessary to locate and repair an increased number of leaks.5 Typical Total Leakage Costs Typical total leakage costs for each of the methods are shown in Table 11. and therefore the cost of repairs can be ignored when comparing methods.11.1 The figures in Table 11. 100 . the number of repairs required will be the same for each method.6 Annual Cost of Repairing Leaks The cost of repairing leaks is not included in the annual operating cost calculation for choice of methods because. Whilst the cost of repairing this backlog will vary according to both the starting leakage level and the control method being considered. However.4.2 as part of the initial costs.5 are indicative only. however. In compiling this table the following assumptions were made:• • • The intrinsic leakage level is ‘medium’ as defined in Figure 11. and an average figure. and so open to interpretation and influence by the local ‘political’ environment.

Read district meters .5 to 2 Waste Metering a) Areas up to 1500 props b) Areas over 1500 props .75 to 3 Combined District and Waste Metering .Monitoring . 3. Inspection will normally consist of a step test followed by inspection of between 45% and 65% of the area. Recommended frequencies are generally taken from UK research except as noted below.25 12 to 50 1.5 2 to 6 1. Inspection frequencies given for combined metering include recording MNFs using waste meters and subsequent step tests and sounding as per note 3.Inspection 1 1.25 to 2 3 to 12 1.1 1.Table 11.Inspection 4 1. then 150 WMAs should be inspected per year.5 to 2 1 to 4 12 to 50 0. and the inspection frequency is 1. The areas to be inspected will be determined by meter readings.Inspection .Inspection 25 2. if for example. 2.Monitoring . District meter reading rates have been adjusted to reflect some improvements in technology. Inspection frequencies given for waste metering include the use of step tests. 101 . Thus.75 to 3 Footnotes to Table 11. 4.5 25 1 Acceptable Range (No/Year) 0.5.1 Recommended Frequencies of Leakage Control Activities Recommended Frequency (No/Year) Regular sounding Leak Noise Correlation District Metering .Read meters . a Water Supplier has 100 WMAs.5 5 2.

000-15.100 850 800 850 2.000 5.000 12.200 550-1.000-9.200 550-1.500 TYPICAL RANGE OF COSTS £ 3.3 750-2.000 b) Initial Cost of Applying the Chosen Method Per 1.Record MNF Perform Step Test Inspect WMA Repair backlog of leaks Record MNF (DMA size) (assumed to be) (4.000 a) Initial Setting-Up Costs Install PRV and set up pressure reduced area Install District meters and set up DMA (ave.000 3. 1.000 3.3 1.8-2.400 550-1.700 550-1.400 45-140 Combined District and Waste Metering .Read and record district meters .500-10.8 Leak Noise Correlation .100 850 2.200 550.000 Properties Passive Regular sounding .400 45-140 1.100 850 85 45-140 90-220 750-2.200 550-1.3 NIL 750-2.Record MNFs of waste areas .Record MNFs of Waste areas .100 850 85 2.8 Waste Metering (WMA size) (assumed to be) (2.8-2.400 1.Repair backlog of leaks District Metering .8 45-140 90-220 750-2.8-2.Read and record district meters 2.Inspect properties .1.Repair backlog of leaks NIL 1.Perform Step Tests .Table 11.8-2.6 meters per DMA) Install Waste Meter Purchase Leak Noise Correlator 5.Read and record meter readings Inspect District Repair backlog of leaks Read and record meter readings .2 Typical Component Costs for Leakage Control ACTIVITY MEAN COST £ 4.000 2.000 properties) 85 170 1.400 1.Inspect properties .3 85 170 1.Inspect whole District .000 properties) 1.000-5.Repair backlog of leaks .8 102 .

Setting up of DMAs assumed to take 30 man hours.000 35-75 45-75 110-170 250-500 1. Assumed to be 1. 103 . 6.200 9 280-2. 4.80 per hour. 3.ACTIVITY MEAN COST £ TYPICAL RANGE OF COSTS £ c) Annual Operating Costs (per 1. Vehicle rate assumed at £3. 2.400 75 45-75 750-2.700-5.100 35 420 370 2. inclusive of fuel. inclusive of overheads.200 1.500 4-19 55 1.200 28-55 230-700 250-500 1.700-5.200 1. Labour rate assumed at £18.000 55-110 Waste Metering Combined Metering Footnotes to Table 11.2 1.60 per hour.100 Leak Noise Correlation Operation Maintenance of Equipment District Metering Monitoring Inspection Maintenance of meters Record MNFs Perform Step Tests Inspection Maintenance of meters Monitoring Record MNFs Perform Step Tests Inspection Maintenance of meters 850-2.000 properties) based on recomm’d frequencies in Table 11.1 Passive Regular soundi ng 430 750-2.400 55 55 190 370 2.6 meters per DMA 5. Initial costs do not include design. Setting up of PRV areas assumed to take 40 man hours.

Table 11.3

Typical Resource Requirements for the Regular Operating Components of Leakage Control
Resource Requirement 20 man hours per 1000 properties 50 man hours 40 man hours 4 man hours 8 man hours

Activity Locate reported leaks when operating passive control. Sound 1000 houses, including locating detected leaks. Carry out leakage survey of 1000 houses with leak noise correlator. Locate leak using leak noise correlator. Record the minimum night flow in a WMA using a fixed meter. Record the minimum night flow in a WMA using a mobile meter. Perform a step test. Meter maintenance

10 man hours 12 man hours 3 man hours per annum per meter + materials at say £40 per meter 8 man hours per annum per PRV + materials at say £50 per PRV

PRV maintenance

Footnotes to Table 11.3 1. 2. 3. Figures for locating leaks with passive control or sounding are average figures based on UK research in 1980. Figures quoted are actual man hours to carry out the activity, no allowance having been made for overtime. Reading district meter includes manual recording of total flow and previous seven MNFs.


Table 11.4

Typical Annual Costs per Property of Different Methods of Leakage Control
INITIAL COST (£/prop) ANNUAL COST (£/prop/year) TOTAL ANNUAL COST (£/prop/year) 0.43 1.2 1.31 1.35 3.43 3.3


Passive Regular Sounding Leak Noise Correlation District Metering Waste Metering Combined District and Waste Metering

NIL 1.95 1.95 3.2 3.79 4.29

0.43 1.1 1.21 1.19 3.25 3.09

Footnotes to Table 11.4 1. 2. 3. 4. A discount rate of 5% has been assumed. Costs quoted are based on the mean costs given in Table 11.2. For calculating initial set up costs for leak noise correlation, it has been assumed that one correlator will be required for every 40,000 properties. Assumed that some district meters are also used as waste meters when considering combined metering. Thus, allowance made for one waste meter for every 4,000 properties in addition to the 1.6 district meters per 4,000 properties.

Table 11.5

Typical Total Annual Costs of Leakage and Leakage Control (£ / prop / year)
LEAKAGE CONTROL METHOD 2 3.12 2.66 2.77 2.52 4.31 4.18 UNIT COST OF LEAKAGE (p/m3) 4 5.8 4.12 4.23 3.69 5.18 5.05 6 8.49 5.58 5.69 4.85 6.06 5.93 8 11.18 7.04 7.15 6.02 6.93 6.8 10 13.9 8.5 8.61 7.19 7.81 7.68 12 16.6 9.96 10.1 8.36 8.69 8.56

Passive Regular Sounding Leak Noise Correlation District Metering Waste Metering Combined District Metering and Waster Metering

Footnotes to Table 11.5 1. The total annual cost of detection is taken from Table 11.4.


Figure 11.1 The Optimal Level of Leakage



Total 10 Optimum Level Cost (£/prop/yr) 5 Water Lo st

Active Leakag e Control 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

Leakage (l/prop/hr)

Marginal Cost 0.8 0.7 Active Leakage Control 0.6 0.5 Marginal Cost (£/prop/yr) 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Most Expensive Source Water

Leakage (l/prop/hr)


2 Graph for Prediction of Net Night Flows Passive leakage control NET NIGHT FLOW (l/prop/hr) Regular Sounding District Metering Waste Metering and combined metering Low Medium INTRINSIC LEAGAGE LEVELS High 107 .Figure 11.

3 14 Base Level of Leakage 12 12 10 10 To t a l C o s t To t a l C o s t of Leakage of Leakage Control (£/prop/yr) (£/prop/yr) 6 6 8 4 Passive Level of Leakage 2 2 0 0 0 0 10 10 20 20 30 30 40 40 50 50 60 60 70 70 Level of Leakage (m / p r o p / y r ) L e v e l o f L e a k a g e ( m 3/ p r o p / y r ) 80 80 90 90 100 100 110 110 120 120 130 130 108 .Figure 11.

4 Diagrammatic Representation of the Deferment of Capital Passive leakage control Reduction in leakage Active leakage control Present capacity or Yield Consequent deferment of capital scheme TIME (years) Figure 11.Figure 11.5 The Effect of Increased Detection Frequency on Leakage Level PassiveP LEAKAGE RATE COMPLAINTS LEVEL PASSIVE CONTROL C Active A Minimum M ACTIVE CONTROL t TIME Extra volume saved by doubling the detection frequency Extra volume saved by again doubling the detection frequency 109 .

of DETECTION EXERCISES in TIME t 110 .6 Marginal Benefits of Increased Detection t x P-M 2 LEAKAGE SAVED 0 Passive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 No.Figure 11.

Communication Pipes and Supply Pipes. bursts and overflows are pressure dependent and can range from less than 1 l/hr to more than 100. the responsibility for the service pipe changes from the Supplier’s underground communication pipe to the customer’s supply pipe. at the ‘point of delivery’. Appropriate methods of analysis and interpretation are needed for this data. Minimum Night Flows (MNFs) consist of differently sized components of customer night use from a limited proportion of properties which are ‘active’ on any given night. RECENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE INTERPRETATION AND USE OF NIGHT FLOW DATA Introduction Measured minimum night flows into well-defined District Meter Areas (DMAs) of moderate size are a very effective means by which leakage control teams can become aware of unreported bursts. which could otherwise run for long periods and accumulate considerable annual volumes of losses.1 can be further subdivided.individually less than 500 l/hr at 50 m pressure. bursts. 12. these may be ‘reported’ (not.1 have been assessed from recent UK research into night flow measurements. 12. or ‘unreported’ (awaiting detection) BACKGROUND LOSSES . For the purpose of analysis all individual sources of losses from pipes and fittings can be classified (by flow rate) into two categories: • • BURSTS . Measured MNFs provide awareness of unreported bursts. co-ordinated by the Water Research Centre. 111 .1 shows the components of minimum night flow. overflows) from a relatively small number of points on the Supplier’s distribution system and customers’ supply pipes. The components of minimum night flow from Figure 12.1. where.3 Components of Night Flows Figure 12. requiring detection). and prioritise activities to locate and repair them. and losses (leaks. and Night Flow Monitoring has become the predominant leakage control method in the UK. The variation of MNFs in a DMA over a longer period of time can be considered to consist of the following components (Figure 12.2 Bursts and Background Losses Flow rates of individual leaks.individually more than 500 l/hr at 50 m pressure. in a format which can be used and developed by leakage practitioners working with the measured night flow data now being routinely collected for leakage management in the UK and elsewhere.12. flows and pressures in DMAs can now be routinely recorded relatively cheaply. both reported and unreported. therefore. For comparison.2):• • • • Exceptional Individual Night Use exceeding 500 l/hr Assessed Normal Customer Household and Non-Household Night Use Background Losses on Mains. The values shown in Table 12. Communications Pipes and Supply Pipes Bursts (of finite duration). Thanks to advances in new technology. a fully open tap or hosepipe can run at around 1000 l/hr. on Mains. This diagram relates to UK practice.000 l/hr. This section seeks to collate some of the key elements of recent research and thinking. based on bursts and background losses concepts.1 12. as shown in Table 12.

5 l/hr x number in Group D 60 l/hr x number in Group E Sum of individual users Non-households normal use Group A Group B Group C Group D Group E >500 l/hr individually Households and nonhouseholds exceptional night use * These are ‘average’ values for background losses.9 l/hr x number in Group A 6. ‘High’ and ‘Low’ values (respectively +/-50% of the average) can be expected depending upon infrastructure condition.6 m_/hr Supply pipe (Pressure dependent) Underground supply pipe Underground supply pipe Plumbing Background losses* 0.6 l/hr x number in Group C 20.5 l/hr x number of props Customer Night Use (Not normally pressure dependent) Households Normal night use 1.2 l/hr x number in Group B 12.6 m_/hr 0.6 l/hr x no of persons) 0.5 l/hr x number of props Reported and unreported bursts Background losses* Number x 1.Table 12.1 Best estimates of average values for components of 1 hour minimum night flow at 50 m AZNP Component Value or Method Assessment Distribution (Pressure dependent) Distribution mains Distribution mains Distribution mains Communication pipes Communication pipes Background losses* Reported bursts Unreported bursts Background losses* Reported and unreported bursts 40 l/hr x length of mains (km) Number x flow rate (depends on pipe size) Number x flow rate (depends on pipe size) 3 l/hr x number of props Number x 1. 112 .7 l/hr x no of households (or 0.

This average use is generated principally by a small percentage of ‘active’ properties (17 %). offices.6 * An alternative for larger nursing homes and hospitals is 2.4.12. farms. large domestic properties. Average use is also sensitive to small changes in numbers of properties using washing machines/dishwashers overnight.7 l/prop/hr (0. livery stables D:* Hospitals.5 6. factories (food and manufacturers). banks. categorised into 5 groups for the purpose of estimating assessed non-household night use. garage/filling stations. touring caravan sites. mines and quarries 123 16 13 7 0.6 205 79 39 53 20. depots. it was concluded that the average household night use is 1.2 shows data from a sample of 3000 external meters. guest houses. market gardens. gardens/ allotments. 113 . craft centres.4 12. water/sewage treatment works B: Shops. social halls. residential caravan sites. cafes/restaurants.9 2013 606 30 20.2 505 244 48 26 12.2 Non-Household Night Use Non-household night use is highly variable. 12. Table 12. public houses.5 l/resident/hr A simplified estimation of 81/non-household/hour can be used where the property information has not been classified as in the above table. telephone exchanges. this does not include exceptional use for hosepipes or purposes equivalent to a fully open tap. Table 12.5 33 25 76 80 60.2 Average values of night flow delivered to different types of non-household. launderettes.1 Night Flow and Customer Use Household Night Use From a variety of tests involving 8847 UK households.4. schools/colleges. grouped by similar averages Group Sample size Number active % Active Average per Average Active for all Property Properties l/prop/hr l/prop/hr A: Unmanned fire/police stations. church/chapels.5m3/hr. These figures exclude individual non-household night use of more than 0.6 1/person/hr). small holdings and cattle troughs C: Hotels. works sites E: Old peoples’ homes. public toilets.

The extra volume lost on the supply pipe burst illustrates the procedural difficulties associated with the customer’s ownership of that part of the service pipe. the difference being that reported bursts are brought to the attention of the Water Supplier. is the Industry’s response to reduce the repair time and to save water which. regardless of monitoring. Losses from Bursts on Mains Figure 12.1 Losses from Bursts Losses from Bursts on Underground Services Losses from a relatively small number of unreported bursts on underground service pipes (as few a 2 per thousand properties per year) can constitute a significant and highly variable component of night flow delivered and annual water delivered. and the timescales for awareness/location/repair of unreported bursts. The annual average MNF is therefore influenced by the active leakage control methods. both reported and unreported. will be influenced by the Water Supplier’s policies for locating and repairing unreported bursts.4 shows the effect that duration can have on the volume of losses. if the unreported burst in August had been allowed to run another 4 months before location and repair. and the repair times for reported bursts. The information should be used cautiously and only in the initial assessment of the likelihood of leakage. Improving administration and communication procedures is a part of this.3 Effect of Burst Duration It is obvious that the average MNF over a year.6 l/prop/hr Lose 32 m3/day.700 m3/yr (the annual consumption of 100 typical households). Using this methodology (background and bursts) it can be demonstrated that annual average losses from underground service pipes can vary from 10 to 100 l/prop/day. and that a large proportion of supply pipe bursts may not be reported. or (if allowed to run a year) around 11.2 Pressure Reported burst frequencies Unreported burst frequencies Leakage control or external metering policy (awareness of unreported bursts) Economic justification for sending a leakage control team out to try to locate only one or two suspected unreported service pipe bursts (equivalent to single open taps) in a DMA Policy for enforcement of private supply pipe repairs. after some ‘political’ pressure. 12. in the absence of domestic metering at the property boundary.5. even though it is his responsibility.600 l/hr at 50m AZNP (average zonal night pressure) when located. since mains bursts in particular can be highly variable.3 gives some indication of loss rates that may be expected from mains bursts. The free repair service now offered by Water Suppliers in the UK.2. It should not be ignored either that reducing awareness and location times as well as repair times can have a significant impact on the overall quantity wasted.12. for any particular DMA.5.5. Burst flow data shows that service pipe bursts have a median (50 percentile) flow rate of 1. Figure 12. This is easily seen from Figure 12. notably: • • • • • • 12. is not paid for directly by the customer. 114 . depending upon local circumstances. the annual average MNF would have been higher.5 12. Only one such burst on an underground supply pipe (equivalent to a large tap running fully open) will: • • Increase the minimum night flow of a 1000 property DMA by 1. The volume lost from a single burst is the product of average flow rate x duration.

The background night flow losses (when no bursts exist in a DMA) can be calculated for any DMA (given L (length of mains in km). 12. There is need therefore to incorporate other parameters (notably pressure. at any time.6. The DMAs with excess losses can then be identified and prioritised (for scheduling burst location activities) by cost of losses. the excess night flow attributable to unreported bursts. mains length per property.5 115 .5 0. Table 12. based on the UK research of the 1980s. and infrastructure condition.3 Background Night Flow Losses Units Low Average High Background Losses Component C1: Dist mains C2 : Commun pipes C3 : Supply pipes l/km/hr l/prop/hr l/prop/hr 20 1.12. or other relevant parameters. AZNP (average zonal night pressure in m)) from the equation:NFLB(l/hr) = (C1 x L + (C2 + C3) x N) x PCF using the following values of C1.6 12. It could indicate the night flow at which it is no longer appropriate to allocate resources to try to locate significant unreported bursts in that DMA. mains length and non-household night use) in setting realistic night flow targets for individual DMAs. after the ‘best practice’ of thoroughly checking the DMA for leaks by step-testing and sounding has been carried out. C2 and C3 from Table 12. The ‘Background Night Flows’ approach can be used to estimate. and the pressure correction factor (PCF) from Table 12. pressure) is potentially of significant value. Such a methodology also provides an independent check on the minimum night flow achieved when a DMA is initially set up.1 Estimating Background Night Flows in Individual DMA’s Introduction It is not helpful to set the same net night flow targets for all DMAs in a supply area.5 1. If night flow targets for individual DMAs are not realistic.5 40 3. manpower resources can be uneconomically deployed to look for unreported bursts in DMAs where there are only minor ‘background’ seepages. N (number of properties).2 Methodology A methodology to estimate background minimum night flows in individual DMAs.3.6.0 60 4. given all relevant local characteristics (mains length.4. percentage of non-households.0 1. irrespective of pressure. number of households and non-households.

73 l/prop/hr 8.33 l/prop/hr 11.3).33 l/prop/hr 6.53 0. and 10% of properties are non-households using 8 l/prop/hr) Components Average Values Net night flow in l/prop/hr Mains length per property L/N = 10 L/N = 20 L/N = 50 0.329 .0 L/N = 100 4.0 2.33 l/prop/hr 14.565 1. Table 12.53 0.2) exceptional individual customer use (household or non-household) >500 1/hr.4.13 l/prop/hr 9.8 TOTAL for ‘average’ background losses 6.8 1.53 0. from Component Analysis (Assuming no exceptional customer use > 500 l/hr.Table 12.884 2.93 l/prop/hr 4.33 l/prop/hr Allowing for ‘high’ background losses Allowing for ‘low’ background losses 116 .0 3. and adding the following components for night flow delivered: • • • 1.0 1.0 1.53 l/prop/hr 7.00 1.0 1.7 l/prop/hr 8 l/prop/hr 1.53 0. Table 12.73 l/prop/hr 8.5 Background net night flows in l/prop/hr at 50 m AZNP.753 1.33 l/prop/hr 10.529 .7 l/prop/hr for normal household night use (excluding individual use > 500 1/hr) an appropriate allowance for normal non-household night use (see Section 12. with an overall allowance of 8 l/prop/hr for non-household night use. at 50m AZNP.226 2.4 AZNP (metres) PCF Pressure Correction Factors 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 .0 l/prop/hr 1.0 l/prop/hr Supply Pipe Losses Assessed Customer Night Use 1.53 l/prop/hr 4.0 Distribution Losses Mains Commun pipes Underground + Plumbing Households (90%) Non Households (10%) 40 l/km/hr 3.0 1.0 3.5 shows the average values of background minimum night flow.0 0.33 l/prop/hr 5. for DMAs with different values of L/N.8 1.8 1.592 The background minimum night flow for an individual DMA can be estimated by using the indicative values for background losses (in Table 12.8 3.4 3.271 1.

10% non-households.6 Example Calculation for estimating background 1 hour minimum night flows for any district meter area COMPONENTS SUB TOTAL l/hr TOTAL l/hr CUSTOMER NIGHT USE SUM OF EXCEPTIONAL NIGHT USERS >500 l/hr individually HOUSEHOLDS NON HOUSEHOLDS 0 1000 1000 ASSESSED HOUSEHOLD NIGHT USE: 1. Table 12.18 3.05 2.4 √ n 3.8 √ NH or 2.27 95 100 105 110 2794 115 120 0. This implies that (if exceptional night use does not vary) at the 95% confidence level (+/.87 1.72 1. and 1 m3/hr exceptional night use would have a background night flow of around 6.7 x 900 1530 ASSESSED NON .33 0.88 2.Table 12.1 m3/hr. 117 . ‘good’ infrastructure condition.53 0.78 2.57 1.22 m3/hr arising from variability in assessed customer night use.43 0.0 4.39 6124 SUB TOTAL l / hr 3.6 and 6.0 LENGTH (KM) 10 SUB TOTAL 200 SERVICES NO OF PROPS 1000 2000 AZNP (meters) 60 PRESSURE CORRECTION FACTOR (PCF) AZNP(m) PCF 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 x PCF 75 80 85 90 2200 x 1.HOUSEHOLD NIGHT USE 11 √ NNH 11 x √100 110 The sample calculation (Table 12.41 2.6) suggests that a 1000 property urban DMA at 60m AZNP with 10km of mains.98 3.2 standard deviations) a ‘one-off’ measured background night flow could be anywhere between 5. and to prioritise activities to locate them.8 x √900 114 TOTAL l / hr 224 TOTAL BACKGROUND MINIMUM NIGHT FLOW (l / hr) STANDARD DEVIATION OF ‘ONE-OFF’ MEASUREMENT ASSESSED HOUSEHOLD NIGHT USE ASSESSED NON .6 l / resident / hr x No of residents (n) 1.42 1.64 0.75 0.13 1.00 1.23 2.6 m3/hr.6 also shows that an individual one-off measurement in this DMA might have a standard deviation of 0. It must be remembered that these are only estimates for the purpose of repetitive calculations which are intended to identify DMAs with unreported bursts.59 2.0 6.7 l / household / hr x No of properties (NH) or 0.27 1.HOUSEHOLD NIGHT USE: SIMPLIFIED: 8 l / non-household / hour x No of non-households (NNH) or Classified by Groups A to E A B C D E 8 x 100 800 DETAILED: = 3330 BACKGROUND LOSSES AT 50m AZNP CONDITION DISTRIBUTION Good MAINS Average Fair CONDITION Good Average Fair L/KM/HR 20 40 60 L/PROP/HR 2.

that is. 12. For example.1 Prioritising Unreported Burst Location Activities Introduction In any group of DMAs.2 Prioritising by Excess Volume The most basic form of prioritisation is by excess volume . Figure 12. many of them being unreported (assuming that the suspected burst has not caused a failure in standards of service to customers). The smaller the DMA size. for infrastructure in ‘good’ condition.g. night flows consistently running at around 8 to 9 m3/hr could include a single service pipe burst. As skilled manpower resources are always limited. 12. It is the practitioner’s job to assess. Number of non-households can initially be estimated from the overall percentage for the Supplier. insofar as it affects background losses.7. or the number of billed properties is not a good indicator of numbers of people (e. 1000 properties is near the upper limit of size for awareness of a single unreported service pipe burst. and that large anomalies are then investigated (by sounding/step testing). from the night flow data. However. The methodology in Figure 12. at 60 m AZNP.5 proposes that an initial calculation of ‘excess’ night flow is made. and the assumed value of background losses in subsequent calculations adjusted to reflect this. or be due to infrastructure in ‘average’ (rather than ‘good’) condition. The principal ‘unknown’ factor is the general infrastructure condition. rural L/N l00m). DMAs in holiday areas).7 12. Any remaining anomaly can then be attributed to infrastructure. It is also important to remember that the average net night flows over 12 months would always be higher than the background net night flows in Figure 12. Continuous recording of night flows (rather than one-off measurements) helps considerably to reduce uncertainty.g.6. in order to locate (by step testing/acoustic survey) the leaks and bursts which are causing these losses.In this DMA.6 (which excludes the volume lost through reported and unreported bursts during the year). there will always be some bursts temporarily running at any time. particularly if exceptional non-household night use is very variable from night to night. The target night flow may be based on either: 118 . based on a number of DMA local characteristics. The methodology permits approximate (rather than precisely auditable) figures to be used to complete Table 12.6. the easier it is to differentiate unreported bursts from the background night flows.6.6 shows that.7. the NNFs would vary between 3 1/prop/hr (20m AZNP. 12. This can be easily carried out using spreadsheets. it is necessary to prioritise activities systematically (both within and between DMAs). (L/N is an expression for the length of main per property). in city centres with large blocks of flats). AZNP and exceptional individual users.3 Units for Expressing Night Flows The ‘background losses’ approach implies that it is preferable to set targets and define ‘background night flows’ (and their viability) in m3/hr. using the assumption that background losses are ‘low’. urban L/N l0m) and 12 1/prop/hr (l00m AZNP. which DMAs are most likely (at any particular time) to have high levels of economically recoverable losses. it is preferable to use numbers of residents to estimate assessed household night use (and its variability) in Table 12. to identify unreported bursts and unsuspected exceptional night users. if background net night flows are expressed in 1/prop/hr. The key elements are numbers of properties. the amount by which the measured night flow exceeds the target night flow in m3/hr. measured night flows of around 13 m3/hr would be indicative of the existence of a typical unreported l00mm mains burst (7m3/hr at 60m AZNP) or 3 to 4 service pipe bursts (typically 2m3/hr at 60m AZNP). Where populations vary seasonally (e.

With this concept.3 Alternative Prioritisation Concepts Excess volume in m3/hr can be multiplied by marginal costs in each DMA (to prioritise on the basis of excess costs) or used to estimate the probable number of unreported bursts in each DMA.7. the resulting figure gives an indication of the likely speed of location. working in a DMA with 200 properties per ESPB is likely to be more efficient than in a DMA with 1000 properties per ESPB. A week-by-week addition of the calculated ESPB in all DMAs is likely to be a sensitive indicator of trends in leakage control performance. the methods are complementary to each other. 119 . it is preferable to use them in the most economic way.e. i. The ‘background minimum night flows’ approach.5 Economics of Unreported Burst Location Activities The manpower resources which are allocated to location of unreported bursts will depend on the overall local economics of leakage control. or through shortage of resources during droughts. 12. This gives an immediate indication of the maximum number of bursts which are to be looked for in each DMA (recognising that a mains burst is equivalent to three or more service pipe bursts). METHOD 2: In practice.6 x √ (AZNP/50) The calculated excess night flow for each DMA is then expressed as an equivalent number of service pipe bursts. 12. 1.e. i. However. lack of water.METHOD 1: The lowest achievable night flow established following intensive step tests/sounding and repairs. through low pressure.7. Either priority may be over-ridden where unreported bursts cause failure of Levels of Service to customers. the median service pipe burst flow rate at 50m AZNP (1. If the number of properties is divided by the number of equivalent service pipe bursts.7. to find the biggest bursts fastest. 12.4 The Equivalent Service Pipe Bursts (ESPB) Concept Recent research work into typical burst flow rates permits consideration of the merits of expressing losses in terms of ‘Equivalent Service Pipe Bursts’. and Method 1 is needed to check the cause of apparent excess night flows from Method 2. Method 2 can be used to check that no leaks have been missed in using Method 1. given any particular level of manpower resources for unreported burst location.6m3/hr) is converted to a flow rate at the AZNP in the DMA using the square root relationship for individual bursts.

Figure 12.1 Components of Night Flows (not to scale) 120 .

3 Median Flow Rate of Bursts (l/sec) at 50m AZNP vs Mains Diameter (mm) 121 .Figure (m3/hr) (Su m of (Sum of components components represented represented by thick by thick black line) black line) BR B R Bursts Mains Background los ses Comm Pipes Supply Pipes Household Non-household Household Exceptional night use (individual > 500 l / hour) Non-household Use Background losses Normal night use Jan Time Dec Figure 12.2 Components of Minimum Night Flows Reported bur sts Unre ported burst s B = Onset of burst R = Repair of burst BR BR B R M Minimum inimum night flow night flow 3 (m .

4 Estimated Durations and Flow Rates of Reported Bursts A = Awareness L = Location R = Repair 216 m_/day m3/day at 50m at 50m AZNP AZNP Reported 100mm distribution mains burst: Volume lost = 238m_ 3 238m 1.Figure 12.1 Days Reported communication pipe burst: Volume lost = 512m_ 3 512m m_/day m3/day 32 at 50m at 50m AZNP AZNP A L R 16 Days Reported supply pipe burst: Volume lost = 1472m_ 3 1472m m_/day m3/day 32 at 50m at 50m AZNP AZNP A L R 46 Days 122 .

Figure 12. and ‘Background Losses’ for assessed ‘Good’ infrastructure condition Obtain measured Minimum Night Flow over 1 hour in l/hr Average of Series of measurements ‘One-Off’ measurement Deduct Background Night Flow to obtain difference (l/hr) Calculate Standard Deviation of Assessed Night Use. Unknown Exceptional Night Uses.5 Methodology for Assessing Likely Excess Night Flow from Unreported Bursts in a District Meter Area (DMA) START Estimate Background Minimum Night flow over 1 hour. and Deduct from Measured Value* +ve Difference? No Further Action at Present Positive difference (Excess) may be due to Unreported Bursts. using best estimates of Exceptional Night Use. Investigate and Identify Bursts and Exce ptional Night Use. or Infrastructure in ‘Average’ or ‘Poor’ Condition * This r educes the chance to 1 in 6 that the adjusted value is more than t he average value f rom a series of measurements. Attribute remainder to Background Lo sses and categorise as ‘Average’ or ‘High’ 123 . simplified assessment of NonHousehold Night Use.

Figure 12. infrastructure in ‘good’ condition) 124 .e.6 Net Night Flows with ‘Low’ Background Losses (i.

and Tables 12. ISBN 0 904561 95 X UKWIR “Managing Leakage” series of Reports.6 are taken from the second Report. 11. and 11. They are: • “Leakage Control Policy and Practice”.4. There have been two major reports published of this important work. 12/3. (The first number in each of the references above relates to the relevant section of this document) 125 .3. 12. 1994 • Figures 10. 11. 12. July 1980.2. 12. 10.1. 12.6. 12. 12.5. Standing Technical Committee Report No.5 and 12.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The progress made in leakage management in the UK has been considerably assisted by the Water Research Centre. working with the Water Industry. Figures are taken from the first Report. 26. 11.1. 12.

126 .

uk ISBN 0-9538014-0-3 website: www.Published by Palmer Environmental Ty Coch House Llantarnam Park Way Cwmbran NP44 3AW Tel: +44 (0) 1633 489479 Fax: +44(0) 1633 877857 email: info@palmer.palmer.

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