Auckland’s leaky pipes lose 50 million litres a day
Auckland’s drinking water pipes are losing a lot of water, much more than the water that Aucklanders were asked to save during water shortages over decades. Every day loss is approximately 50 million litres a day, over the last 5 months. However, non-profit organisation Water New Zealand have said that Auckland has one of the better rates of water loss in New Zealand.
The city’s water managers are unsure about the exact amount of water that Auckland has lost in the past five months, ever since the usage restrictions came in, and with an increase of pipe breakages due to drying and contracting of the ground in Auckland.
While Aucklanders have been asked to save about 30 million litres of water a day by reducing shower time, reducing the amount of washing they do and restricting use of hoses and water blasters connected to town water. However, the current water loss is at 50 million litres a day, a concerning number.
Council water body Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram admitted it was not even meeting its own target.
“It’s not good enough. We’re not meeting our target of 13 percent or less, and we’re just over that,” Jaduram said.
In fact, it has been above 13 percent since the start of 2018. The last known figure was in January 2020 at 13.4 percent.
Watercare said they did not know the rate since, as it needed physical meter readings, which have not been completed since the Covid-19 lockdown was lifted.
However, because Auckland’s piped water network is vast, some amount of water leakage is inevitable. Jaduram and board chair Margaret Devlin said it was more a question of what level of could be accepted or was economical.
In addition, leak detection can be hard and expensive. Contractors can’t see through the ground to know where the pipe is broken, and sometimes the underground plans do not line up with where pipes actually run.
Jaduram said they had started a proactive leak detection programme. Over the next year, council will be examining 6000km of pipes, and an improved response time of a maximum of five days.
This content was sourced from an article by Radio New Zealand.
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