As the demand for water continues to grow in our country, water loss is something that all facilities should evaluate and strive to improve. The amount of water loss experienced by facilities throughout the state of Kentucky varies immensely. In classes, I have heard a range of numbers to describe a city’s water loss from 8 percent to 55 percent. As you can see, some systems take it very seriously, while others turn a blind eye on the situation. All systems should ideally have less than 15 percent water loss.
One reason your facility should try to get ahead of water loss is for the financial benefits. Just think about it; your facility is spending a lot of money to treat water for the consumption of your costumers. Therefore, you are losing money and wasting treated water by not accounting for it or letting it be lost to leaks in your distribution system. In any business, it all comes down to money – you as an operator have a chance to save your system money by monitoring water loss.
An easy way to calculate water loss is to determine how much of the water was billed out of the volume of water treated. You find the difference between these two variables, and then divide the amount of unaccounted water by the amount produced. Convert this value to a percentage and you will have your percent water loss. Always make sure to account for buildings that receive water, but may not be billed (i.e. courthouses, jails, and police departments).
Remember that water loss should be monitored monthly to help keep a system running as efficiently as possible. Try to be proactive instead of reactive.
CG “tar heel”