Pressure and Leakage Management Plan
New South Wales utilities lose around 60 litres of water per connection per day. Like all other water utilities and councils in Australia, Ballina Shire needs to address its water loss problem and we plan to do it through a Pressure and Leakage Management Plan.
To divide Ballina Shire’s water network into 9 ‘Pressure Management Zones’ and 3 ‘Demand Management Zones’. This will allow council to better monitor and control the underground water network and reduce water loss. It’s part of Council’s long term urban water management strategy to improve the sustainability of our water supply.
What is Water Loss?
Water loss is the physical amount of water lost through leaks and breaks within a water distribution network. It’s measured by looking at the amount of water received by Rous Water then deducting the amount of water Ballina Shire connections have used.
How Do We Know It Will Work?
Three pressure reduction zones have already been implemented in West Ballina, Lennox Head and East Ballina with flow monitoring equipment detecting a major leak in East Ballina. Repairs have led to combined water savings of 123.9 mega litres which is enough water to fill close to 40 olympic sized swimming pools.
Pressure Management Zones
These zones will be fitted with pressure sensors which will detect high water pressure. Pressure reduction valves will then allow council to reduce the water pressure in that area only. In this diagram the houses at the bottom of the hill would receive similar mains pressure to those at the top of the hill.
Most customers will notice no change. Some customers located in high pressure areas will have a reduction in water pressure; however it will always be greater than minimum requirements.
Customers with onsite fire services may need to review their current infrastructure. Council will be consulting directly with these customers prior to implementing any new Pressure Management Zones.
Gathered data will be sent from above ground switch boards by radio transmission to Council’s monitoring system for analysis.
Demand Management Zones
Water flows will be monitored in these zones by magnetic flow meters. These meters detect rapid changes in water flow which usually indicates a leak. The flow meters will allow for quicker detection and repair of leaks and breaks.
Council will also be able to report and publish the network data to the community to see the progress of water loss and demand management within the water supply network.
Who Else Has Done It?
Tweed Shire Council, Byron Shire Council, Sydney Water, Gold Coast Council and Riverina Water have all implemented pressure leakage and management plans.
How Can You Help?
Water loss can also occur within your property. You can check your own water loss by turning off all your taps and appliances and simply reading your water meter. If the numbers on your meter change, call a licensed plumber.
You can also call Council if you see a water leak or mains break. Calling straight away will help Council respond as quickly as possible to prevent a significant loss of water.
If you have a sudden reduction in pressure please check any taps that control flow including your water meter are fully turned on before calling Council.
Some properties have their own pressure reduction valves in case of high pressure. These may still be required even after the plan has been put in place.
Businesses with essential fire services will be directly contacted by Council prior to implementation of any pressure reduction to help facilitate a smooth transition to the new water pressure.