5 Strategies to Help Reduce Non-Revenue Water

A burst water pipe to show the strategies needed to help reduce non-revenue water.

Non-revenue water (NRW) remains a critical concern for water utilities, as it represents water that is lost before it even reaches paying customers. Water leakage is undesirable for several reasons, of which lost revenues is only one: leaks can cause significant damage to infrastructure, which results in interruption to customers’ supplies and expensive maintenance costs, and they can also damage the reputation of the utility company.

Implementing strategic measures can significantly mitigate these losses and enhance overall water management efficiency. In this article, we’ll consider five effective strategies that can help reduce NRW losses 

Network Monitoring

Establishing a robust monitoring system begins with strategically placed bulk meters at key delivery points. Further segmenting the network into District Metered Areas (DMAs) allows for the precise monitoring of daily and nightly flow and pressure while incorporating smart meters for large consumers and, ultimately, all customers. The data can be used tactically to determine daily and night consumption. A data-driven approach supports the early detection of leaks and enables proactive interventions to address problems as soon as they arise.

Pressure Management

There are several aspects to pressure management for NRW programmes, including:

  • Very low pressures due to customer side tank usage will require the installation of tank filling controls to regulate network pressures.
  • By maintaining pressures on the network side of customer connections, the issues of intermittent supplies and the ability to detect and repair bursts and leaks can be addressed. 
  • The reduction of pressures higher than required in the network, with PRVs,  will result in lower leakage levels 

Plan NRW Activities With Regular Analysis And Reporting

Leveraging data analysis and consistent reporting based on monitored data underpins NRW reduction strategies. Data informs interventions, such as prioritising repairs, Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) schemes, and the identification of deteriorating water mains and connections so that they can be replaced in a timely manner. Strategic planning based on comprehensive data analysis optimises operational resources and enhances overall efficiency.

Proactive Leak Detection

Embracing cutting-edge leak detection technology, from advanced acoustic sensors to data analytics, offers a proactive approach to identifying and addressing leaks within the water distribution network. Rapid detection enables swift responses to emerging problems and facilitates rapid repairs, thereby minimising water losses and damage to infrastructure.

Training And Education

Equipping teams with the necessary skills and knowledge is crucial for effective NRW management. Training programmes that cover leak awareness, fundamental operational principles, and cutting-edge technology empower personnel to manage water networks efficiently. Well-trained teams are better positioned to implement and sustain NRW reduction strategies effectively.

By implementing these strategic approaches and investing in technological solutions, such as Netbase, water utility companies can significantly reduce NRW losses, optimise the deployment of resources, minimise infrastructure damage, reduce energy consumption, and ensure a more sustainable and efficient water supply for communities. Netbase is an operational and situational awareness platform that provides utility staff with invaluable real-time insights into the condition of the water network, displaying the current network status with all the essential data operators need to streamline their activities.

Contact Us For More Information

To learn more about Netbase and how it could help your business reduce NRW loss, please get in touch today.

Image source: Canva