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Is Irish Water incapable of fixing leaks?

  • 24-07-2018 4:19pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,666 ✭✭✭ Impetus


    One had read mention of leak repair being an EUR 18 bn job. Pull the other one Irish Water.

    Croatia is a relatively poor, ex-Eastern European country. It started a programme of leak fixing using water flow detectors*.

    In the first four months, they managed to reduce the volume of water leaking into the ground by 4% points. I.e. approximately 1% per month.

    Having done some research, it appears that many leaks start off being small. The leaking water washes away the earth surrounding a pipe, This removes the support for the underground pipe, and heavy vehicles and other objects put pressure on the unsupported pipes, causing them to burst. Wasting huge amounts of water as a result. (Of course water pipes and other services should be laid under footpaths (and not under roadways), as they do in Germany, Monaco and many parts of France. In new developments, a single services tunnel is dug (cut and cover) with large entry grilles every 200m of footpath, for repair staff to enter the system without damaging the footpath. The cost of the single tunnel can be shared by cold water, hot water (where district heating is available), chilled water (to provide chilled air from a district heating and cooling system - both hot and chilled air can be fed into heat exchangers, fibre optics, coax, and even vacuum rubbish collection (as in Monaco)).

    About 60% of treated water in Dublin seems to be leaking into the ground. If one assumes that new developments have few leaks - a big assumption in a country that seems to take a second class approach to most engineering and other issues. One would think that there must be a large concentration of leaks in older legacy areas of the city.

    If Dublin and other Irish cities could reduce water leakage by 1% per month - using sound detectors to detect leaks (please see the Croatian story linked to below), selecting the biggest leaks first, (80:20 rule) the problem would be cleared in a few years.

    The various noises created by different rates of water flow are described in the document below:

    What are Sounds of Leaks Like in a leak detector:
    1. Good water pressure, corp leak or small leak: "hiss".
    2. Good water pressure, main break or big leak: "whoosh".
    3. Very close to leak (6m away during pinpointing): rapid "thumping" noises of water against soil in cavity or "clink, clink" of small stones bouncing off pipe.
    4. Water splashing on the pipe: may be close to leak or may be water traveling along pipe for long distance.
    5. Pipe resonance noises (i.e., "hiss" or "whoosh"); always very constant.
    6. Intermittent and on again / off again noises: not a leak.
    7. "um and ringing" : transformers, motors, or gas lines.

    These systems are a veritable stethoscope for the heart of a water distribution network.

    How to find leaks in more detail:

    http://www.fujitecom.com/howto/Howtofindleaks.html

    The Croatian story:

    *https://bib.irb.hr/datoteka/203774.481-486.pdf

    Ireland has had a very wet winter, and it is incredible that a few weeks of sunshine can create so many problems. It shows a lack of planning by successive governments.

    Power generation uses a large volume of water. Not only is Dublin constrained by water supply - it is also constrained by electricity supply - nobody wants their house to be next to a high voltage pylon or power station. Water treatment and pumping costs probably run to a 10 figure number every year.

    Why then, does Ireland give planning permission for so many data centres in the Dublin area?

    Cork produces about 38% of the electricity generated in Ireland and has an abundance of fresh and sea water (and direct fibre optic links to the US, and soon to France). Prior to nationalising water, Cork has never had a hosepipe ban - thanks to the mountain and river reservoirs along the path of the River Lee and tributaries. Limerick is in a similar position. The Cork city landfill (which should not exist - everything should be recycled) and waste to energy recycling could support several data centres. Bottle Hill**, as the landfill is called, is located away from centres of housing, and is close to the power and telecommunications network.

    Reducing water leaks to say 5% (from a current figure of around 60%) would be self-financing, in terms of the saving on electricity used to pump and treat water, as well as chemicals and labour costs. It would remove the need for a water diversion from the river Shannon to Dublin.

    There is no excuse for not taking immediate action. The job could be outsourced to private contractors on a tender basis, with a bonus depending on the level of water leakage stopped.


    **Map (Bottle Hill) https://tinyurl.com/bottlehillmap


Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,771 CMod ✭✭✭✭ ancapailldorcha


    Thread moved to infrastructure. Please note the change in forum charter.

    Show me a god that does not demand mortal suffering. Show me a god that celebrates diversity, a celebration that embraces even non-believers, and is not threatened by them. Show me a god that understands the meaning of peace. In life, not in death.

    Steven Erikson



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,938 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    You have a very funny assumption of the monetary value of water which renders most of your proposal null

    At the end of the day, until such time as Irish Water is a properly funded utility provider that can bill for the service it provides like almost everywhere else in the world and use that income to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the water network to ensure stability of supply for generations to come, until then we're basically half-assing it


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,608 ✭✭✭ gctest50


    Impetus wrote: »
    One had read mention of leak repair being an EUR 18 bn job. Pull the other one Irish Water.


    If Dublin and other Irish cities could reduce water leakage by 1% per month - using sound detectors to detect leaks (please see the Croatian story linked to below), selecting the biggest leaks first, (80:20 rule) the problem would be cleared in a few years.

    The various noises created by different rates of water flow are described in the document below:

    What are Sounds of Leaks Like in a leak detector:
    1. Good water pressure, corp leak or small leak: "hiss".
    2. Good water pressure, main break or big leak: "whoosh".
    3. Very close to leak (6m away during pinpointing): rapid "thumping" noises of water against soil in cavity or "clink, clink" of small stones bouncing off pipe.
    4. Water splashing on the pipe: may be close to leak or may be water traveling along pipe for long distance.
    5. Pipe resonance noises (i.e., "hiss" or "whoosh"); always very constant.
    6. Intermittent and on again / off again noises: not a leak.
    7. "um and ringing" : transformers, motors, or gas lines.

    These systems are a veritable stethoscope for the heart of a water distribution network.

    How to find leaks in more detail:

    Impetus wrote: »

    How to find leaks in more detail:


    GTF with yer 1998 technology - use a HD camera with built-in hydrophone, pressure sensor and conductivity

    or use de cloud, tis quare good lioke :

    https://www.trimblewater.com/mobile-leak-detection/


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,612 ✭✭✭ Dardania


    gctest50 wrote: »
    Impetus wrote: »
    One had read mention of leak repair being an EUR 18 bn job.   Pull the other one Irish Water.


    If Dublin and other Irish cities could reduce water leakage by 1% per month - using sound detectors to detect leaks (please see the Croatian story linked to below), selecting the biggest leaks first, (80:20 rule)  the problem would be cleared in a few years.

    The various noises created by different rates of water flow are described in the document below:

    What are Sounds of Leaks Like in a leak detector:
       1. Good water pressure, corp leak or small leak: "hiss".
       2. Good water pressure, main break or big leak: "whoosh".
       3. Very close to leak (6m away during pinpointing): rapid "thumping" noises of water against soil in cavity or "clink, clink" of small stones bouncing off pipe.
       4. Water splashing on the pipe: may be close to leak or may be water traveling along pipe for long distance.
       5. Pipe resonance noises (i.e., "hiss" or "whoosh"); always very constant.
       6. Intermittent and on again / off again noises: not a leak.
       7. "um and ringing" : transformers, motors, or gas lines.

    These systems are a veritable stethoscope for the heart of a water distribution network.

    How to find leaks in more detail:

    Impetus wrote: »

    How to find leaks in more detail:


    GTF  with yer 1998 technology  -  use a  HD camera with built-in hydrophone, pressure sensor and conductivity

    or  use de cloud, tis quare good lioke :

    https://www.trimblewater.com/mobile-leak-detection/
    Very cool approach!

    @OP: I'm sure Irish Water could use such detection techniques to help find leaks. But are they funded to then do anything about fixing it? DaCor's point is valid...


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,600 ✭✭✭✭ josip


    OP, are you comparing Slavonki Brod with Dublin?
    I drive through it twice a year.
    Here's downtown Slavonski Brod
    j8woaVZ.jpg

    Do you really think they have the same cost to dig up streets as central Dublin ?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 416 ✭✭ Tommy Kelly


    I locate or pinpoint 9 leaks per day between boundary box's / meters and the Point of entry to the house.

    We're well able to locate and repair leaks provided the public lets us do so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,600 ✭✭✭✭ josip




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,379 ✭✭✭ CeilingFly


    Where do you get the 60% wastage rate?

    At its worst it was 50%. The current estimate is 43%

    Best systems in the world come in at 15%.


    The Irish rate is an estimate as many outlets don't have meters.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,516 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    DaCor wrote: »
    You have a very funny assumption of the monetary value of water which renders most of your proposal null

    At the end of the day, until such time as Irish Water is a properly funded utility provider that can bill for the service it provides like almost everywhere else in the world and use that income to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the water network to ensure stability of supply for generations to come, until then we're basically half-assing it

    I supported water charges, but I dont really agree. Central government, could simply fund water infrastructure adequately directly, that is the alternative, so there is an alternative, it just wont happen..


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,785 ✭✭✭ piuswal


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    I supported water charges, but I dont really agree. Central government, could simply fund water infrastructure adequately directly, that is the alternative, so there is an alternative, it just wont happen..

    Surely you must have some control over usage!


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