Leakage Management: Assessing the Effect of Pressure Reduction on Losses from Water Distribution Systems
This report was produced for the Urban Water Research Association of Australia, a now discontinued research program.
Report No UWRAA 5
The research project was to assess the effectiveness of a control valve which reduces the operating pressure in a water distribution system as the flow requirement decreases, thus minimising watermain breaks and reducing leakage losses.
A pressure control valve system was installed to control a discrete part of the distribution system serving about 2,000 people in the township of Raymond Terrace, NSW.
Losses from the zone were assessed prior to commencing the project, using typical night flow procedures and, after the control valve was installed, by recorded flows and pressures. Effect on system performance was monitored and can be shown to have achieved the objective of reducing maximum system pressures, night flows (lowest flow periods) and the number of watermain breaks within the zone.
A benefit/cost analysis for the project was determined and resulted in a ratio of 1.6/1.0 over a ten year period, based on watermain breaks prior to and after commissioning of the valve.
Resulting benefits from reduced system losses and flows can be applicable with similar installations throughout the water industry in general.