NON-REVENUE WATER (NRW)

August 23, 2013

Max works on leaking pipe

Locating leaks on transmission mains represents the best opportunity for improvement.

Pure working with pipeline technologies

Non-Revenue Water (NRW) can be defined as water that is produced for consumption and lost before it reaches the customer. The amount of NRW is typically represented as a percentage, and is made up of both real and apparent losses, as well as unbilled authorized consumption. Real losses refer to water lost from leaks and water main failures, while apparent losses come from theft and metering inaccuracies. Unbilled authorized consumption comes from water that is provided for public services that is not billed, such as fire hydrants.

Causes of Non-Revenue Water:

  • Physical (or real) losses - Leakage from all parts of the system
    • Poor operations and maintenance
    • Lack of active leakage control
    • Poor quality of underground assets
  • Commercial (or apparent) losses
    • Customer meter underregistration
    • Data handling errors
    • Theft of water in various forms (e.g. Illegal Connections)
  • Unbilled authorized consumption
    • Water used by the utility for operational purposes
    • Water used for fighting fires
    • Water provided for free to certain consumer groups

A Global Issue

 

 

The World Bank estimates that NRW costs utilities worldwide about US$14 billion annually. By reducing these losses by half in areas with the highest NRW, it is estimated that US$2.9 billion cash would be generated and an additional 90 million people could have access to water.

Utilities that run successful NRW-reduction programs often see an increase in revenue and improved service reliability. These utilities also gain a better understanding of their water system which allows for more effective water management in the long-term.

In terms of reducing NRW, locating leaks on large-diameter transmission mains represents the best opportunity for improvement. Leaks on small-diameter distribution mains are the most common, but the volume of water lost from these leaks represents a much smaller percentage of NRW than leaks on large-diameter pipes. Focusing leak and theft detection on transmission mains is the first step in a NRW-reduction strategy.

With over 2,000 miles of large-diameter pipelines inspected, Pure Technologies has located more than 4,000 leaks for an average of 2.2 leaks per mile using advanced inline leak detection technologies. Locating these large-diameter leaks has significantly reduced NRW, saved millions of gallons of water and helped prevent failures for utilities around the world.

Learn More

Pipeline leak detection systems

Pipeline Leak Detection Systems

Highly accurate inline leak detection systems that can detect leaks and gas pockets in operational pipelines. These systems are used primarily on larger diameter water and wastewater transmission mains of all materials as well as oil & gas pipelines.

 

Pipeline Asset Management Software

PureNET™ - Integrated Non Revenue Water and Asset Management Software

In order to help utilities manage all aspects of their complex water and wastewater systems, PureNET™ allows utilities to manage their infrastructure data more effectively.

Maynilad Water

Case Study: Maynilad Water

Maynilad is the water and wastewater services provider for 17 cities and municipalities that comprise the West Zone of the greater Metro Manila area. The work included the use of Sahara® leak detection, in addition to video inspection on a major pipeline system.