Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2012GU229B

Water System Leak Detection Training for Pohnpei Utilities Corporation (PUC), the Federated States of Micronesia

Institute: Guam
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2013-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $17,848 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: Shahram Khosrowpanah

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.