Leakage Reduction Technology

Leakage Reduction Technology
ENTRY DATE: 03 May 2015| LAST UPDATE: 03 May 2015
Categories: Water Resources | Securement of quality of drinking water
Technological Maturity: Applicable immediately
Technology Owners:
  • Government
  • Private implementing agencies e.g. Shenyang SEDA, China
  • Users
Needs Addressed
  • Supply of fresh water for domestic use
  • Conservation of water resources
Adaptation Effects
  • Increases water security by reducing pressure on existing water sources
  • Conserves water resources for domestic and livelihood use
  • Maximises access to available water resources
Overview and Features

Reduction of leakages from water pipes and other transmission equipment, caused by poor network design and construction, damage to exposed pipes and leakage at poorly sealed connections, via detection and reparation processes. Reparation requires either external covering of the hole or internal insertion of a smaller tube. For old pipes, replacement is sometimes advisable.

  • Specific costs depend on the context and location of implementation and the severity of damage
  • Costs for detection technologies such as ground penetrating radar (GPR), combined acoustic logger and leak noise correlators, digital correlators, and radio-frequency interferometers
  • Costs for human resources
  • Cost for conducting reparations including equipment
  • Management and maintenance costs
  • Costs for reparations are cost-effective in comparison to those incurred by water wastage
Energy Source
  • Human resources
  • Energy for detection equipment – often electric or battery fuelled, though solar and other renewable options should be considered
Ease of Maintenance

Ongoing detection and reparation of new and repaired systems must be ensured

Technology Performance

Heightened awareness of cost saving of fully functional pipe systems and repaired leakages will encourage support for detection and reparation activities

Considerations (technology transfer criteria, challenges, etc.)
  • A full audit should be conducted pre-implementation in order to assess leakages and prioritise management approaches
  • Training for water auditing is required
  • Leak reparation requires institutional support and quality service delivery
  • Selection of leak detection technology depends upon the pipe material and structure
  • Leakage prevention methods should be employed during initial pipe installation to prevent energy wastage in reparation activities
Co-benefits, Suitability for Developing Countries
  • Metred water use measurements can detect leakages while also encouraging water saving
  • Reduced water use or wastage decreases greenhouse gas emissions
  • Preventing leakages can reduce energy used for transporting alternative and additional water supplies
  • In many developing country contexts, basic service delivery itself is limited, and therefore reparation of systems is a further challenge that can be difficult to achieve
  • Community involvement in leakage detection and reporting can aid efficient processes
Information Resources

ClimateTechWiki, n.d. Leakage management in piped systems. Available from: http://www.climatetechwiki.org/content/leakage-management-piped-systems [20 January 2015]

Farley, M. 2001. Leakage management and control: A Best Practice Training Manual. World Health Organization. Geneva. Available from: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2001/WHO_SDE_WSH_01.1_eng.pdf [20 January 2015]

McIntonsh, A.C. (2003) Asian Water Supplies: Reaching the Urban Poor. Asian Development Bank. Chapter 9: Non-revenue Water. Available from: http://www.adb.org/documents/books/asian_water_supplies/ [20 January 2015]

WSP. 2008. Designing an Effective Leakage Reduction and Management Program. Water and Sanitation Program Field Note. Available from: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2008/06/09/000334955_20080609085214/Rendered/PDF/441260WSP0BOX31e0reduction01PUBLIC1.pdf [20 January 2015]