Still addressing the question in the previous blog post, “Locating Water System Problems Using GIS and Remote Sensing Tools“, Heather and Ross shared basic principles in determining the right technology to use in troubleshooting water system issues.
Yes there’s quite a few different kinds of leak locating technologies and some of them work better in some situations than others.
So it is really important, since almost all of them will cost you a fair amount of money to use, to make sure that they’re applicable to your system before you invest a lot of money in leak location.
- Make sure you have contact points, which are hydrants, valves, mirrors that allow you to listen to the pipe.
- Make sure it’s the pipe type that will carry sound.
- Make sure that its technology that works on whatever you have and your crews are familiar with it before they try to use it.
You just have to be a little careful because there’s a lot of different technologies that could be used to help you find leaks.
But always remember that no matter what technology you use, they only find so many of your leaks. There’s always going to be a few that you won’t find and that’s kind of a way it is.
So if there’s a real reason to go looking for leaks, just choose a technology that works well with your particular system.
I think there’s a rule in this, and it applies to a lot of engineering, but certainly a lot of asset management and that’s the 80-20 rule.
Which is, you’re going to spend 20 percent of your effort and you will catch your 80 percent of your problems.
You have got to try and judge where that is because you can spend a huge amount of time, effort and money trying to run down that last 5 or 10 percent.
And yes, we’ve really got to look at the economics of that and say, “Is it going to be worth it?”
Because you can get a lot of your gains very quickly and very easily and then spend an awful lot of resource trying to get the last little bit of it.