Water Loss Control
Public water systems have been effectively providing safe, clean drinking water for customers in the United States for almost two centuries. And while public education and conservation efforts around the country have resulted in steady declines in consumer water usage, population growth, aging infrastructure, dwindling water supplies, multi-year droughts, and ever tightening regulatory requirements have all impacted utilities ability to continue to provide water in an efficient, and cost effective manner. Further, all systems have to deal with leaks, broken or inaccurate meters, accounting issues, and outright water theft.
Billions of gallons of water are lost from US drinking water systems every day. Lost water is lost revenue. But, if system management doesn’t know how and why it is losing water and revenue, it cannot make effective management decisions for the benefit of its business and customers. Thus, a major goal of any water system should be the accountable and efficient management of its water supplies using a water loss control program.
The first step in establishing an effective water loss control program is performing a water audit, and we can help with free training and assistance on the industry standard AWWA M36 Water Auditing and Loss Control Methodology.Effective decisions require accurate data. A significant component of the water loss Water Audit Software is focused data gathering, assessment, management and grading. Systems new to the Water Loss Audit methodology rarely have all of the data they need at the start. But that is not a problem! A water audit is not a one time affair – it’s a holistic, best management practices approach covering all of a system’s processes from source water pumping and treatment, to maintenance and billing procedures. Incorporating the Water Loss Audit methodology into your system’s ongoing business management practices will enable you to analyze the data you have, and develop a plan for gathering and maintaining the data you need to accurately categorize your inputs, outputs and losses.
We are here to help with training and technical assistance. We have also gathered resources and tools here on our site to help you develop your water loss control program.
SWEFC Water Audit Handbook
The first step in establishing an effective water loss control program is performing a water audit. To assist small systems with in preparing an audit, the Southwest Environmental Finance Center developed The Water Audit Handbook for Small Drinking Water Systems, which is based on the AWWA/IWA Water Audit Method. A free copy of the handbook can be downloaded in PDF format HERE
Water Loss Control Audit Software
The AWWA provides a free industry standard tool to help systems of any size perform a water audit. The AWWA’s M36 Water Loss Audit methodology and accompanying free Water Loss Audit Software will help you to accurately categorize your water inputs, outputs and real and apparent losses so that you can make sound business decisions for efficient and accountable management.
A free copy of the Water Audit Software can be downloaded HERE. Please note that the download requires registration, but has no cost and information provided will not be used for marketing or shared with third parties. The Water Audit Software is an Excel based tool, and to enable its full functionality you will have to have the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program installed on your computer. The Water Audit Software does not function correctly with Apple’s Numbers Spreadsheet program, or with Apache’s Open Office.
Water Audit Data Grading Sheets
A significant component of the water loss Water Audit Software is data grading. As you will see when you review the AWWA Water Audit software, each data input and output you report in the software is graded for reliability on a scale of 1-10. However, due to the software’s Excel format, the data grading criteria are somewhat difficult to read in the spreadsheet. For your convenience we have reproduced the grading criteria and instructions for each input in a Word Document, which can be downloaded HERE.
To select the correct data grading for each input, determine the highest grade where the utility meets or exceeds all criteria for that grade and all grades below it.
The data grades will be entered in columns E and J of the worksheet in cells denoted with a red triangle in their upper right hand corners as shown in the image at the left. Click on the image to expand.