Leakage Control: Practice in Industrialized Countries and An Approach For Developing Countries Public Deposited

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  • February 28, 2019
  • Deer, Ruth E.
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Piped water supply systems invariably lose water through undetected underground leakage. Not only is water being lost (often 10-15% of total water production in the U.S., and often over 40% in developing countries), but contaminated water may enter the system through the breaks. In developing countries, in spite of the great need for delivery of more and cleaner water, leakage has not been addressed very often. This is due in part to the technical difficulty of detecting underground leakage in systems where there are very few records, where the pressure is often so low as to make sonic detection methods difficult, and where lack of sufficient valving makes it difficult to measure flows to isolated portions of the system. More significantly, leakage is part of a greater management problem that stems from lack of institutional support, skilled personnel, and sufficient funds. Because no guidelines exist for leakage control even where the institutional capacity is in place, however, this report focuses on the technical aspects of leakage control in existing small and medium-sized water systems in developing countries. The report examines the causes of leakage, the methods of leak detection, leakage control policies practiced around the world, and finally gives suggestions for a simple procedure to establish priorities so that leakage control is carried out first where it will provide the greatest benefit per unit expenditure. Emphasis is placed on the need for an economic analysis of all leakage control programs.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Briscoe, John
  • Whittington, Dale
  • Okun, Daniel A.
  • Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Academic concentration
  • Water Resources Engineering
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 1985
Deposit record
  • 5813fd5f-e783-4ad5-a7c4-b2c0322b3c6e

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