Water Leak Detection Roundup

Water leak detection is a big deal, from Saudi Arabia to New Zealand, to right here at home in Washington State. Read on to find out more about the leak detection problems and solutions seen across the world this month.

The leakage inspection unit used by the National Water Company (NWC) in Saudi Arabia

 In Saudi Arabia, water leak detection saved the country SR 600 million ($160 million) and 97 million cubic gallons, according to Arab News. The NWC used audio and radar detection equipment that found an estimated 52 million cubic meters in Riyadh alone.

A San Antonio Water Services worker listens to pipes to detect leaks in Texas.

Meanwhile in San Antonio, reporters discovered that the San Antonio Water Service (SAWS) could hear more than just leaks while using audio equipment to check pipes. According to the San Antonio Express-News, in older San Antonio neighborhoods where metal pipes have been installed, utility workers may sometimes overhear household noises from washing machines to televisions to conversations inside the home. While the reporters are concerned about legal implications and the utility company hopes to have conversations with its customers on the topic, the story also notes that SAWS has dropped the water loss rate from 16.2 percent to 8.7 percent, saving the city millions in 1999, but they believe the water loss rate is back up to 16.3 percent after recent droughts- that’s enough water to supply more than 60,000 homes for the year.

Wausau’s City Council just approved a plan to stop leaks in municipal pipes.

In Wausau, Wisconsin, the city council just approved a leak detection agreement, after the discovery of a pipe leak on the city’s west side that leaked 300 million gallons, and cost the city $170,000. The city now has a three-year contract with Westrum Leak Detection that we hope will keep future leaks from getting out of control.

A little closer to home, a mobile home park in Yakima, Wa., went without water service on Christmas Eve. A leak detection company was expected to fix it on the 26th, but many residents were left without the ability to cook and clean. Last year, a similar problem took more than three months to solve, and the city was unable to assist because the leak was on the owner’s side of the water meter. Let’s hope it doesn’t take that long again!

Queenstown earned a ‘D’ rating for water leakage rates from the World Bank.

And in Queenstown, New Zealand, the Southland Times reports that the Central Business District is losing water – 47 percent of it, in fact. The Queenstown Lakes District Council had a meeting to address the leaks, but no plan was set in place to address the fact that of the $553,000 spent on pumping water, nearly $261,000 is down the drain. Water meters will be added at several locations across Queenstown, so that the council may begin to have an idea where to start tackling the leak problem.

Photo credits: Arab News, San Antonio Express-News, MyFoxWausau.com, and Cheetah100