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Leak Detection Programs Combat Water Loss in Water Distribution Systems

Each day, as much as 5.9 billion gallons of water is lost due to leaks and unbilled consumption in the US alone.  Utilities can no longer tolerate inefficiencies in water distribution systems and the resulting loss of revenue associated with underground water system leakage. Increases in pumping, treatment and operational costs make these losses prohibitive. To combat water loss, utilities need to have a program in place that can detect, locate, and correct leaks.

A leak detection program can be highly visible, encouraging people to think about water conservation before they are asked to act to reduce their own water use. Leak detection is an opportunity to improve services to existing customers and to extend services to the population not served.

Benefits of Leak Detection and Repair

The economic benefits of leak detection and repair can be easily estimated. For an individual leak, the amount lost in each period, multiplied by the retail value of that water will provide a dollar amount.  Remember to factor in the costs of developing new water supplies and other “hidden” costs.apr news leak story

Some other potential benefits of leak detection and repair that are difficult to quantify include:

  • increased knowledge about the distribution system, which can be used to respond more quickly to emergencies and to set priorities for replacement repair programs.
  • more efficient use of existing supplies and delayed capacity expansion;
  • improved relations with the public
  • improved environmental quality;
  • increased firefighting capability;
  • reduced property damage, reduced legal liability, and reduced insurance because of the fewer main


  • reduced risk of contamination.


In addition to assisting with decisions about rehabilitation and replacement, a leak detection program can further other water utility activities, including inspecting hydrants and valves in a distribution system and updating distribution system maps.

Wachs Water Services offers a comprehensive approach to leak detection for water distribution systems.  To learn more, contact us today at 800-525-5821;

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