The full story
Executing a sustainable strategy for reducing high leakage levels
Veolia Voda, the water and sewage company in Teplice, was losing a lot of water – and, as a consequence, also money.
The primary reason was the poor condition of the city’s water supply system suffering from high levels of leakage of up to 40%, and an unbalanced flow and pressure distribution due to poor network zoning.
At the same time, a significant increase of the water supply capacity was demanded by the city’s expansion and development plan.
Veolia Voda invited DHI to help implement and execute a sustainable strategy for reducing the company’s non-revenue water (NRW).
Time consuming non-revenue water evaluations
Previously, the operating staff could mostly evaluate their NRW levels based on the balance of inflow and invoiced water in supply zones over a one-month period. The accuracy of this method was negatively affected by low water meter reading frequencies, seasonal changes and so on.
Additionally, leakage evaluations using night inflows were unsystematic, due to the immense work involved – especially in zones with several inflow/outflow points. It was also difficult to calculate NRW key performance indicators due to inconsistent data inputs.
As a result, the managers responsible for leakage detection control spent most of their time evaluating the data, leaving less time for managing operational works.
The NRW and leakage thresholds for supply zones were determined based on a simple technical evaluation. In many cases, incomparable workloads were required to achieve similar leakage savings in different districts. As such, the operator was not satisfied with the methodology based on pure technical evaluation.
Mapping the problems – developing the right strategy
Successful and long-term management of leakage levels requires an advanced system with reliable data.
In close collaboration with the network operator (SCVK a.s.) and the infrastructure owner (SVS a.s.), we began implementing our Non-Revenue Water Solution.
How our solution works:
- District Metering Areas
We divided the water distribution network into smaller, more manageable units: the district meter areas (DMAs). A DMA is a defined area in the distribution network where the quantities of water entering and leaving the area can be precisely metered, for instance by closing and opening valves.
This way, it is easier to identify priority areas for leakage repair works. And also, the use of DMAs allowed balancing and stabilising the flow distribution.
- Complex data collection
Our solution collected data from various portals, such as SCADA, GIS, invoicing and field metering which we did together with the water system operator. Analysis done in our software resulted in fast leakage reduction due to identification and repair of bulk leaks.
- Implementing software with a unique financial analysis
An important feature in our Non-Revenue Water Solution is the financial analysis-module. It lets the operating staff evaluate their water leakage costs versus work expenses, enabling them to make smart and valid decisions in leakage detection activities.
Steps taken, such as deep technical evaluation and automated identification of new leaks, among others, allow the operator to get overview reports as well as detailed outputs to identify critical DMAs with the highest saving potentials.
- Automatic service tool
The system runs all analyses and prepares output automatically at chosen time intervals. This allows for an easy access through a user-friendly web interface, including:
- active leakage control
- network repairs
- pressure optimisation
- identifying leaks before they become a threat or before potential pipe bursts
Implementing our Non-Revenue Water Solution led to significant positive results for Teplice.
Early payoff from the project
Nipping the problem in the bud resulted in immediate leakage savings right from the beginning. These savings were achieved very much due to the analysis of measurement campaigns and reparation of bulk leaks. As a result, the extent of water leakage in Teplice was quickly reduced – and contained – for a long period.
The leakage level reduction in Teplice equates to an estimated yearly savings of EUR 150,000.
Reducing water leakage by 43% within six month
Teplice witnessed leakage levels reduction of up to 43% in six months. The decreased leakage level is now stable, proving the functional design of the sectored water distribution network.
The newly designed DMAs, together with the proposed pressure optimisation, make traditional pipe failure and leak detection methods much more effective.
Efficient operational management
The implemented Non-Revenue Water Solution provides operating staff with an advanced technical evaluation and financial analysis-module. The outcome is a very tangible tool for active leakage management, and for making smart business decisions in leakage detection activities.