| New training helps utilities manage expensive and wasteful water leakage
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New training helps utilities manage expensive and wasteful water leakage

When water systems leak, they waste not only water, but also the energy and expense that went into treating it. To help water utilities be as efficient as possible, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) has launched an online non-revenue water management training program.

George KunkelThe training program includes five eLearning courses designed to share best practices, tools, methods and guidance about managing and minimizing non-revenue water (NRW). The courses include strategies to improve water accountability, effectively control leakage and ensure reliable metering and billing of customer water consumption. (Pictured above, acoustic leak detection, Wilson County, Tennessee.)

“With increasing regulatory requirements, cost constraints and a changing climate threatening the sustainability of some water supplies, water utilities need effective tools to manage NRW,” said George Kunkel, principal with Kunkel Water Efficiency Consulting, which developed the training program. “These drivers will gradually motivate more states and agencies to embrace this approach.”

The training series highlights the use of the latest version (6.0) of AWWA’s free water audit software, an industry standard tool used throughout North America and in other countries to quantify and assess the components of NRW during a water audit. 

The five courses vary in length and are designed to be self-paced and completed in order. Participants who complete all five earn a certificate. Total course time is five hours and 45 minutes.

Acoustic leak detection in Wilson County, Tennessee“Any water utility has a certain amount of leakage, but NRW is becoming a greater issue and we need to start tightening up and doing a more rigorous job detecting and controlling leakage losses,” Kunkel said. “As water utilities, we are stewards of one of our world’s most precious resources and it is incumbent on us to serve and protect our communities by providing a reliable water supply that’s available at a reasonable price.”

The eLearning courses include:
1.    Assessing non-revenue water with the AWWA Water Audit method
2.    Accurate metering of water production flows
3.    Effective leakage and pressure management
4.    Customer metering and billing operations for optimized revenue capture
5.    Sustaining the non-revenue water management program

“There are constant innovations in technology that the commercial marketplace is providing to better manage water loss to greater degrees of accuracy,” Kunkel said. “Specifically, this includes pressure management, different approaches to leak detection, such as satellite, and continuing advances in meters and metering.” (Pictured above, strap-on ultrasonic flowmeter tests a production flowmeter for accuracy.)

AWWA is presenting the North American Water Loss Conference & Exhibition Dec. 5-7 in Denver. Additional information is available on AWWA’s water loss control page. Learn more about AWWA’s eLearning courses at awwa.org/eLearning.