Maynilad Water Services, Inc. reported in the December 2012 of Malaya Business Insight that Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in its concession area has dropped to 42 percent as of last September. Six years ago, the company reported NRW as high as 66 percent due to leaks and pilferage.
After a P1.4 billion investment in modern leak detection technologies, including Sahara® Leak Detection by Pure Technologies, Maynilad has acheieved a huge reduction in their NRW. Maynilad said it is using varied and high-tech methodologies to detect leaks instead of digging up old pipes and replacing them.
The contract between Pure Technologies and Maynilad began in 2009 with training and rental of two Sahara® leak detection systems. This contract was part of a strategic water loss management program aimed at reducing non-revenue water in the metro Manila area. The initial contract has been extended three times as a result of Maynilad Water Services obtaining a highly beneficial return on their investment with a short payback period.
The use of Sahara leak detection has resulted in a number of key achievements for Maynilad. It has aided the elimination of illegal connections that contributed to NRW and have been a problem for Maynilad in the past. Illegal connections can also potentially damage pipe sections through unregulated excavation and tapping that compromises structural integrity.
The system has also been very effective in locating unknown features and laterals through the use of the inline CCTV. Once located, these laterals and features were closed, allowing Maynilad to achieve major reductions in its NRW.
In addition, many of the leaks found by Maynilad were buried deep underground and were not visible from the surface even when they were very large and presumably had been leaking for long periods of time. Beyond water loss savings, Maynilad was also able to use the leak detection and video system to map their complex pipeline network by locating known features with unknown locations. This has helped Maynilad achieve a better understanding of their pipeline network and will provide valuable information for future condition assessment projects.
From the start of the program to the end of 2011, 264 kilometres have been surveyed with 319 leaks located and 173 illegal connections and unknown laterals identified and shut down. The total volume of water saved to date has been in excess of 110 Million Litres per Day (MLD) which is the equivalent water demand by more than 300,000 people. Reducing NRW and boosting the network efficiency in this manner is a more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable approach than building new reservoirs and treatment plants.