1 Water Loss Auditing and Water Leak Detection: How Much is Being Lost and Where Does it Go? PNWS-AWWA Annual Conference Michael W. Grimm, P.E. April 29,
2 2 What Will Be Covered Determining the magnitude of water loss Quantity Risk level Calculation methods Determining the cost of water loss Determining how to reduce water loss
3 3 What is Water Loss? Once upon a time, the water industry defined this unaccounted for water and that was part of the problem. We CAN account for this water and we SHOULD account for all the water in the system so now, the water industry term is Non- Revenue Water or NRW
4 4 Determining the Cost of Water Loss It is not enough to know the quantity of NRW. It is also important to know what type of loss is present and what is the cost of each type of water loss is impacting the water utility.
5 Cost of Water Loss Losing Money 5 Wasting chemicals Wasting electricity Paying more for purchased water Lost revenue from theft, inadequate billing process and meter inaccuracy
6 Cost of Water Loss Customer Perspective 6 Heightens inconvenience from interrupting water service and commerce Hurts perception of utility as a steward of resources (environmental and financial) Brings unwanted negative publicity
7 Cost of Water Loss Damage 7 Potential damage Damage to property and other utilities Surface hazards ice, ponding, hydroplaning Water supply Systems with limited water can be threatened Excessive loss can accelerate the need for more resources, facilities and capital expense. Water quality Compromising system integrity possible contamination Potential backflow
8 Water Audit Process: Component Analysis 8 Own Sources Water Imported Total Total System System Input Input (allow ( allow for for known known errors) errors ) Water Exported Water Supplied Authorized Authorized Consumption Consumption Water Water Losses Losses Billed Authorized Consumption Unbilled Authorized Consumption Apparent Losses Revenue Water Non- Revenue Water Billed Water Exported Billed Metered Consumption Billed Unmetered Consumption Unbilled Metered Consumption Unbilled Unmetered Consumption Unauthorized Consumption Customer Metering Inaccuracies Systematic Data Handling Error Leakage on Mains Real Losses Leakage on Service Lines Leakage & Overflows at Storage
9 9 Export water Water Into System Customer Consumption Unbilled Authorized Consumption Apparent Losses Real Losses (Leaks) Leaks = water in - export water out-billed volumeestimated unbilled authorized-apparent loss estimate
10 10 Billed Consumption Water exported Usually to another water system Master metered Billed Customer Consumption Metered Unmetered but estimated Unmetered - flat rate charge Export water Customer Consumption
11 Billed Consumption Biggest User of Water Export water 11 Exports If you are the seller, make sure the meter is accurate. Residential customer use Usually the prime component of small system use Commercial customer use Many are not significant water users Industrial customer use Can be the most significant user in a small system may be as factor in night use Customer Consumption Photo courtesy Denver Water
12 12 Unbilled Authorized Consumption Water use that is not billed Fire fighting Flushing Public parks and golf courses Street cleaning Municipal facilities (pools, City Hall) How do you account for the amount of water that is being used? Metered Unmetered but estimated Unmetered Unbilled Authorized Consumption Can your utility control this use more effectively?
13 13 Apparent Losses Unauthorized use Illegal taps Theft at hydrants Open unmetered bypasses Illegal use of fire services Meter tampering Customer meter inaccuracies Apparent Losses Billing handling errors
14 14 Real Losses Leakage on mains Real losses Leakage on service lines Storage leaks and overflows
15 Identify where water loss could be occurring. Define as unbilled, apparent, or real loss. 15
16 16 What if Customer Use is not Metered? Billing options to meters Part of general user fee (fixed fee) Fixture count Property size Maybe they should be metered Equity and fairness Accountability Regulation
17 17 Unmetered Look at System Use Patterns Daily usage patterns Somewhat predictable usage pattern especially if no industry Usually minimal flow at night Some unmetered systems have successfully estimated night flow to calculate leak loss Take storage changes into account Night flow analysis Utilities can compare actual volume at night with projected use to evaluate the amount of leakage Minimum night flow
18 18 What is an Acceptable Leakage Amount? What is the appropriate level of non-revenue water? Facility and supply limits and economics will help you decide the level of action and you should take and equipment to buy. Regulations may apply Washington DOH: < 10% water loss Oregon: Idaho: California: < 10% water loss
19 19 Metrics - What is Best to Use? Percentage of NRW is helpful but not best Comparison between systems can be impacted by differences in consumption major customers and yearly fluctuations. Heavy summer consumption can distort NRW percentage when comparing year to year. Percentage not as helpful as volume for small systems that need to be careful with limited water. Using water loss per connection per year is more useful.
20 20 Export water Customer Consumption Water Into System Non Revenue Water Unbilled Authorized Consumption Apparent Losses Real losses
21 Authorized Unbilled Use Meter, estimate, report Unbilled Authorized Consumption 21 Municipal services Metering for fountains, municipal buildings, parks Flushing Filling mains compute volume Fire flow tests measure time and flow Flushing measure time and flow Fire fighting Estimating flows and duration Metering usually not an option Other uses??
22 Apparent Losses Difficult to Estimate Apparent Losses 22 Illegal use of hydrants Meter Tampering Customers opening bypasses Illegal connections Billing Errors
23 Apparent Losses Evaluate Meter Accuracy 23 Project loss from random testing Test customer meters/master meters Are you metering everyone Are you billing everyone?
24 Calculating and Identifying Real Losses 24 Real losses Real Loss is the difference between all NRW and the other forms of NRW (we just covered) Authorized unbilled consumption Apparent loss
25 25 The Focus is Usually on Leakage Leakage and break types and tools Unavoidable Detectable Observable Proactive leak detection and repair Improve speed of repair
26 26 How Much Does NRW Cost Unit Costs Real losses and unbilled authorized use cost the amount of money it takes to produce the water (sale price if bought, treatment and electrical costs if produced). Apparent losses could have been sold at retail price (if used but not stolen or otherwise avoiding payment), so its value is greater at the retail rate, the rate customers pay.
27 Water Balance Example A Water Utility produces 5000 MG annually (13.7 MGD) An audit determines Utility has 1000 MG in water losses (250 MG in apparent losses and 750 MG in real losses) The cost of production is $0.50/1000 gal ($500/MG); Retail charge = $3/1000 gal ($3000/MG). Most of the expense of the production cost is in energy Lost revenue in apparent losses = $3000/MG x 250 MG = $750,000 annually 27
28 Water Balance Example Cont d Added cost to the utility for the real losses = $500 x 750 MG = $375,000 annually Total annual cost for apparent and real losses is over $1 million!! Bottom Line: Getting a handle on real losses will mean less pumping which means less energy purchased which mean lower energy costs 28
29 29 Estimating Leakage - Summary Start by getting an estimate of the non-revenue water by components Then see if you can estimate areas of authorized unbilled and other losses Work to minimize different categories of loss (note it may vary within your system)
30 30 Useful Tool for Water Audits AWWA Manual M36, 3rd edition (2009) Section devoted to small systems The AWWA Water Loss Control Committee (WLCC) working on 4 th edition Free software available on AWWA website Version 5.0 released in 2014
31 SUMMARY How to Get the Free AWWA Water Audit 31 Go to awwa.org Enter water audit software in the search box (upper right) Navigate to the Water Loss Control page Click on AWWA Water Loss Control Committee Free Water Audit Software v5.0 (2014) (XLS) Click on the compiler AWWA Water Loss Control Committee Water Audit Software Compiler v5.0 (2014) (XLS)
32 32 Determining Amount of NRW Start with what is known and readily obtainable Compare water leaving the treatment facility with consumer billing records Estimate unbilled authorized consumption and sources of apparent loss Leakage (Real loss) = Measured Total Water Production less Total Revenue Sales Volume less Estimated Apparent Loss Volumes less Calculated Authorized Unbilled Water Volume
33 Determining NRW Leakage Component 33 Own Sources Water Imported Total Total System System Input Input (allow ( allow for for known known errors) errors ) Water Exported Water Supplied Authorized Authorized Consumption Consumption Water Water Losses Losses Billed Authorized Consumption Unbilled Authorized Consumption Apparent Losses Revenue Water Non- Revenue Water Billed Water Exported Billed Metered Consumption Billed Unmetered Consumption Unbilled Metered Consumption Unbilled Unmetered Consumption Unauthorized Consumption Customer Metering Inaccuracies Systematic Data Handling Error Leakage on Mains Real Losses Leakage on Service Lines Leakage & Overflows at Storage
34 34 How Good is the Data? The Audit is only as good as the supporting data Check into data that is missing, poor or questionable quality Work to improve weak or missing data Focus on critical data (like master meters) Worry about the big stuff first
35 35 Focus on the Economics Make your best estimate of leakage Use water audit and night flow to gauge how much volume you lose per year. Calculate what that avoidable leakage is costing you Multiply the annual loss by the cost to produce the water (higher if purchased as finished water) Examine possible leak detection approaches and costs Leak surveys (in house, consultant, step tests, district metering)
36 36 The Economics of Leak Reduction Compare cost of a program with potential savings. Expect that you can only reduce part of leakage with any leak detection program Contingency plan - be prepared to deal with a severe break that may threaten your supply. Know where to get help
37 37 Approaches to finding pipe Using maps Finding surface items and using physical clues Finding metallic pipe Finding nonmetallic pipe
38 38 Components of good maps Good maps show pipe location horizontally relative to permanent surface points. Good maps provide reference information about significant changes in depth. Good maps show pipe material and size. To remain good maps there should be a plan to adjust them when new pipe installed or need correction.
39 39 Surface locating Hydrants, blow-off pipe discharges, valve boxes, meter pits, curb boxes are either visible and contain some steel or iron. Magnetic locaters are common in the industry.
40 Valve Layout for Water Lines to & from a Pump Station 40
41 Valve Layout at a Road Intersection (3 Water Lines, 5 Valves) 41
42 Operating valves? A study for the City of Houston (Wachs Water Services, 2011) evaluated more than 4,000 valves Could not locate 17% of the valves initially (lowered to 12% after locating effort) Map discrepancies, 14% Paved-over valves, 6% 45% initially inoperable (lowered to 19%) 10% in the wrong position (closed/open) 42
43 43 Finding metallic pipe Numerous manufacturers (and distributors) provide inductive/conductive transmitter/receiver devices to locate pipe.
44 44 Locater Issues Signal can jump to other nearby pipes; best to work slowly away from transmitter. Watch for cable lines give strong signals as they are shallow and good conductors. When using conductive method, the transmitter needs a good ground. Some devices can provide depth; this is usually center of pipe not top of pipe. Failing batteries can cause erratic signals.
45 45 Finding nonmetallic pipe Not conductive, limited ability to locate. Some devices induce vibration for acoustic sensing limited range. No reliable method for readily signaling through water mains is available at this time.
46 What should you have in your toolbox? 46 A good metal detector (think about time saved finding valve box buried under paving, snow, soil and landscaping). An inductive/conductive locator if the system has mostly metallic mains or services. If the system is nonmetallic, divining rods with access to more sophisticated methods for emergencies recommended.
47 Thanks for listening to the presentation Questions or Comments? Michael W. Grimm, P.E. (503)
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