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Common Misconceptions About Water Leaks


"If I have a leak - it will come to the surface."

95% of the leaks we have found make no attempt to reach the surface. This is due to the fact that the leaks are relatively small. With a small leak, there isn't enough pressure to force the water up to the surface. Normally, the water will dissipate into the ground and find "the path of least resistance" which is typically down - not up.



"I only need to worry about the "bad" breaks, i.e. main or transmission breaks."

False! If a 6-inch water main experiences a catastrophic failure and erupts out of the ground, you could lose anywhere from 100-150 gallons per minute of treated water for about 4-6 hours which would be a total loss of about 24,000-36,000 gallons of water. Some of the larger 8", 10" or 12" mains could lose upwards of 100,000-150,000 gallons on that same 4-6 hours.


Now, pretend that you have a 1-inch service line that is "spraying" at the corporation - and is only leaking 1-2 gallons per minute. This leak would never show itself and would be very hard to detect. At 1-2 gpm you could lose 525,600-1,051,200 gallons over the course of a year. A leaking service could lose up to seven times more water than a main break - all because it leaks every day, all day, and no one would ever know it was there.


"My water system isn't losing any water - we don't have any leaks in our system."

Even if this was true - and it never is - every distribution system has numerous hydrants that are losing/wasting water. In the last year we performed 13 surveys (on 13 separate systems) that all consisted of approx 100-200 miles of distribution main. On each survey, we found an average of 15-20 hydrants that were leaking 1-2 gallons per minute. The hydrants alone accounted for 7,884,000-21,024,000gallons of unaccounted for water in each system. And this doesn't include the leaks that we found on services, valves or mains.

There are many misconceptions about water leaks and their potential impact. 



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