State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012GU229B
Title: Water System Leak Detection Training for Pohnpei Utilities Corporation (PUC), the Federated States of Micronesia
Project Type: Information Transfer
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2012
Congressional District: N/A
Focus Categories: Education, Water Supply, Management and Planning
Keywords: Water Resources, Training, Education, Operations and Maintenance
Principal Investigator: Khosrowpanah, Shahram (WERI University of Guam)
Federal Funds: $ 17,848
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 0
Abstract: Water system leakage is a serious problem for all utility agencies throughout the Western Pacific. It reduces the performance of the system and represents a big money loss to water utility agencies. The development of modern water distribution systems in the FSM started in 1970 with periodic upgrades sponsored through a series of US capital improvements projects. Despite this, the majority of systems operating today suffer from excess water leakages, some as high as 60% on some islands. Aside from the negative impact on revenues, such losses all too often result in water utility agencies being unable to provide their customer base with a reliable 24-hour water service. One relatively rapid and cost-effective means of overcoming this problem is to implement a simple leak detection program with appropriate equipment and training for water utilities personnel. At its 2009 meeting, the FSM Water Resources Advisory Council requested that WERI carry out a leak detection training program on all the major islands of the FSM (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae). In keeping with this request, WERI organized a leak detection training program in Kosrae, in 2010. At the recent request of the Pohnpei Utilities Corporation (PUC) funding is hereby sought to conduct a similar training program on the island of Pohnpei, which currently ranks among the most severely affected islands, insofar as no-revenue water losses from leaks are concerned. One representative from each of the other islands will participate in the program. We anticipate conducting a similar training program in Yap and Chuuk in future years.

The proposed training will be conducted over a one week period and will provide participants with a workable knowledge of leak detection theory. It will also consider common cause of water leakages in distribution systems and provide participants with hands-on field experience on how to find leaks and fix them. The topics to be presented at this proposed training exercise are summarized below:

  1. Leak detection theory and how to determine when a leaky survey is required;
  2. Economic benefits of a leak detection survey;
  3. How to incorporate a leak detection survey and/or permanent leak detection crew for your water facility;
  4. How to become familiar with various sounds created by leaks and type of leaks encountered;
  5. Types of leak detection surveys and proper record keeping;
  6. Getting familiar with various leak detection equipment and techniques. This will include field demonstrations, leak detection scenarios and exercises, general survey techniques, pinpointing strategies, estimating leakages, reporting, and vehicle setup.

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