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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Proposed Research

CP462  Better estimation of plumbing losses Leakage
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Plumbing losses occur in either the pressurised or non-pressurised system after the point of consumption. This is the point where the supply pipe rises above ground level within a property - usually at an inside stopcock or an internal meter.

Plumbing losses form one element of a household's legitimate daily consumption. Allowances are used by water companies but high uncertainty in these values is directly transferred onto total leakage estimates. As leakage levels are driven ever lower, reducing uncertainty in each component of the water balance is critical.

The objective of this study is to improve understanding of plumbing losses through the use of an existing source of evidence collected over ten years by WRc through their Identiflow monitoring of properties.

Benefits to Clients

  • Additional evidence and increased certainty in plumbing losses allowance for leakage reporting purposes.
  • Decreased uncertainty in overall water balance for the purpose of top-down/ bottom-up analysis.

Work Programme

The project will use an existing body of evidence, approximately 500 surveys, held by WRc. Companies will get significant value from this existing dataset and no further data collection will be required.

The methodology involves the manual identification, "eyeballing", of plumbing loss flows from high resolution flow traces collected by WRc's Identiflow equipment, and the subsequent quantification and analysis of these from the raw data. We will undertake a pilot the analysis on selected sub-set of the full data set, around 8500 hours of flow data @ 1 second intervals. In parallel, we will also examine how this process might be automated. The main stages in the work programme will be:

  1. Partitioning of the data set to identify properties with no plumbing losses or leakage, properties with a constant leak (either internal or supply pipe) and properties with intermittent plumbing losses that will be used for this study.
  2. Identification of the prevalence of properties with no leaks and/or plumbing losses, and those with constantly running leaks and/or plumbing losses.
  3. Investigation and quantification of intermittent plumbing losses.
  4. Reporting.

Project Output

The project output will include a report that will contain details of work undertaken, the results of the analysis and recommendations for the revision of plumbing loss estimates.

Related WRc Work

  • CP187 Increasing The Value Of Domestic Water Use Data For Demand Management
  • UK Water Company - A Critical Evaluation of the Customer Water Use Components
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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