45 million cubic metres of clean water is lost through leakages daily, but replacing leaky water pipes is a costly process both financially for the authorities who have to pay for the upkeep of the pipe system as well as the disruption caused while the work is being carried out. However, it is difficult to justify allowing such huge volumes of precious and treated clean water to disappear from the network.
A recent innovation by Grundfos Pumps called Demand Driven Distribution may be the breakthrough that the industry has been waiting for. Devised by Grundfos, it is not the complete answer, but provisional results indicate that it can reduce water wastage by an impressive 15 percent. And at very little cost.
The solution uses Grundfos’ expertise in controls to ensure the pressure in the water pipes will never exceed what the actual required pressure is to ensure there will always be enough water to meet demand. This will mean a reduced pressure for a large part of the day and night, during periods of low demand. Positive side effects of this are that when pressure is lower, less water leaks from the pipes and reducing the pressure also leads to a reduction in energy consumption by an average of 25% as well as reducing new leaks in the pipe system.
The savings are so large that the average payback time for the control equipment is less than one year, including new pumps, which will explain why this solution has created great interest from water supply companies.
There are not too many ‘true’ win/win/win situations however, this could be one of them as this solution will benefit the water authorities, customers and the environment.