New sonic water pipe tester
SPECIALISED sound- testing equipment will be brought in to “listen” to pipes in the Tweed Heads area to detect any water leakage this month.
Tweed Shire Council has called in contractors to pinpoint any significant leaks as part of a plan to fix damaged pipes in the area.
According to the council, 11.5 per cent of all water produced every year on the Tweed “disappears”.
This equates to approximately 900 mega litres per year out of a total of 8700 mega litres.
Council’s water manager Anthony Burnham said water loss figures could be better.
“While that figure of 11.5 per cent is comparable to water loss in other local government areas, it certainly falls short of the target of seven per cent we are aiming for,” Mr Burnham said.
He explained that not all water leakage was due to leaks in the pipes.
“Other possible causes are uses such as firefighting and water theft,” he said.
“We have always checked for leaks, how-ever this is part of an intensified suite of strategic actions to ensure we have good integrated water cycle management in the Tweed.”
The initial tests for leaks are known as reservoir drop tests.
Council’s Water Unit staff have carried out this testing late at night and early morning when usage is very low to see if unaccounted water is escaping the system.
Major night-time users such as hospitals are taken into account when making the calculations.
“Based on discrepancies found at Tweed Heads through our own initial testing, we’ve engaged a firm to use specialised sound testing techniques to pinpoint any significant leaks so the pipes can be repaired,” Mr Burnham said.
The results of the testing will take the guesswork out of the location of pipe leaks to make best use of resources and reduce costs.
Murwillumbah and Kingscliff reservoirs will be tested later in the year.