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Nrw Non Revenue Water South Korea Sahara Leak Detection

Non-Revenue Water (NRW) has been one of the biggest challenges for water utilities, with some seeing levels upwards of 50% across Asia. According to the Asian Development Bank this equates to around 29 million cubic meters of water lost in Asia each year at a value of $9 billion in revenue.

Another obstacle is the effective management of water services infrastructure and maximizing capital budgets. With pipelines reaching the end of their useful life, utilities must make difficult fiscal decisions regarding replacement and rehabilitation of their infrastructure.

K-water, the national bulk water utility in South Korea, controls everything from collection, treatment and pumping to maintenance, inspection and rehabilitation of the nation-wide pipeline system. The pipes in these critical bulk trunk mains are primarily large-diameter (greater than 2000 mm), and supply water to many of the smaller cities across Korea. Large cities, such as Incheon or Jeonju, are responsible for their own collection, treatment and distribution. In addition to supplying treated water to these small cities, many have contracted K-water to manage and maintain their distribution systems as they battle the challenges of ageing infrastructure.

K-water has done an exemplary job of maintaining its nation-wide pipeline system, which totals about 5000 kilometres, as well as helping smaller cities with their critical infrastructure management through individual contracts. While K-water’s critical trunk mains have a very low NRW, usually around 2%, many of its clients suffer from high levels of NRW as their pipeline infrastructure ages and begins to leak.

To address large-diameter leaks and ageing systems, K-water adopted a tethered system with acoustic leak detection and inline video – called Sahara® Leak Detection from Pure Technologies. While many utilities around the world use this tool for large-diameter leak detection, K-water instead chose to use it as a complete condition assessment tool to provide information on its pipelines and accurate location of leaks.

 

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